Mistaking selfishness or true patriotism

Let’s talk about patriotism. The term “America” means different things to different people, but it always consists first and foremost of the American people. As such, the essence of patriotism is caring for the well-being of our fellow Americans. Accordingly, our nation’s heroes have always been those willing to sacrifice for the common good.

Anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers, however, when called upon to make even minor sacrifices to save American lives, have responded with petulant outrage, somehow mistaking base selfishness for true patriotism. They claim the cause of liberty, yet trample everyone else’s freedom to live in health and safety. They claim to defend bodily autonomy yet surreptitiously infect other people’s bodies with a deadly virus without their knowledge or consent.

Those spreading misinformation and perpetuating this pandemic are not patriots. They are traitors.

That is the definition of someone who harms their country and its citizens in pursuit of their own narrow self-interest. Putting other people in danger is not the kind of freedom espoused by liberty-loving Americans; it’s the kind of freedom enjoyed by criminals. Those unwilling to do their part to fight this disease have caused more harm to this country and its people than our enemies abroad could ever dream of.

Right now, getting your shot, wearing your mask, social distancing, and making the effort to find credible information are the most patriotic things you can do. Our hospitals are overwhelmed. Hundreds of Americans are dying of COVID daily. Schools are closing, and businesses may not be far behind. This could all be over with by now. If you love your country, and if you’re serious about making America great, step up and do your part to end this national nightmare.

Ryan Urie

Moscow

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