Partisanship or Patriotism

Partisanship or Patriotism

Is partisanship or patriotism more important? The scales have shifted in the United States. We have lost sight of the founding principles of Democracy and seem to ignore them as we, the baby-boomers, have lived our lives and are now moving into retirement. There were different partisan views when the country formed. Historian and Harvard Professor, Jill Lepore in her book, These Truths, discusses the founding of the United States and explores the dialogues that went on while the documents were being drawn that founded the country. We formed a new country despite these differences. How the times have changed.

Our current political environment.

Currently, we have taken partisanship to an extreme. Congress isn’t passing laws that help the American people, it deadlocks them along partisan lines. If their party didn’t come up with the idea, it must be wrong for the American people. In today’s America, partisanship seems even to trump election results. There are many members of the House and Senate who refuse to recognize the results of the election. This does not bode well for the American people.


But let’s define our terms before we go further. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines partisanship as “the quality or state of being partisan: strong and sometimes blind adherence to a particular party, faction, cause, or person.” The 2020 election has shown the blind adherence to a person or party that exists today. With the refusal to accept the election results, they have exhibited the filing of unfounded lawsuits and the acceptance of conspiracy theories espoused by the party leaders this month. More importantly, the refusal of the Senate leadership to move to provide relief for the American people is shameful.


Merriam-Webster defines patriotism as “the love for or devotion to one’s country.” Implicit in this definition is the love for one’s whole or entire country. It is clear then that patriotism differs from partisanship in this way: patriotism relates to our whole country, and partisanship relates to a small fraction of our country.

World War II united us in the love for our country. The country called and everyone answered. The men went to war. The women went to work to support the cause. And congress could put aside their partisanship for the greater good. However, since the war ended, we have become increasingly partisan. This partisanship became even more inflamed during the Vietnam era. The American people did not unite behind the Vietnam efforts like they had during World War II.

What do we do now?

We have to rebuild our country as we did after World War II. Move away from partisanship as an absolute to partisanship as a dialogue position, but put the country first. I can’t believe that we want our fellow Americans to suffer a loss of the homes because of the unwillingness of Congress to act. It is equally hard to believe that we want more Americans to die from the coronavirus because we refuse to wear masks.

It is time to unite and come together as patriots rather than partisans. Our entire country must come first. We must get past the virus, rebuild our economy, and reaffirm our principles.

You need to examine what it means to you to be a Democrat or Republican. Do you accept this label as partisan or as a thinking rational person who no longer blindly follows the party? Read your parties platform- I bet only a few of you agree with every word Let’s come together and succeed.

“It is in the man of piety and inward principle, that we may expect to find the uncorrupted patriot, the useful citizen, and the invincible soldier. God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable and that the unjust attempts to destroy the one, may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both.”-John Witherspoon, from his sermon on May 17, 1776.

“Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist; and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.”-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Henry Lee, August 10, 1824.



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