Las Vegas Sun

November 12, 2019

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Where I Stand:

Deep patriot state keeps America safe

They come from every region of the country and from all walks of life, but they share several core beliefs.

They want the law to be obeyed. They understand that political norms exist for a reason. They belong to all manner of political parties, but in their jobs and in their lives they act in a nonpartisan manner. They act as Americans first and make simple demands of leaders — don’t break the rules, don’t abuse your power for personal benefit, value the nation and respect the Constitution.

These are the hundreds of millions of Americans who would best be described as the deeply patriotic state.

This is the same group that conspiracy theorists and other fringe groups call the deep state, but the reality of it is 180 degrees different. These American patriots aren’t out to destroy the country, but rather to preserve it.

Some are government employees who work in selfless anonymity to make the lives of Americans more free, more safe and more prosperous. Some are political organizers and community advocates who put themselves in full public view to promote social equality and improve the quality of life for all Americans. And most are voters who don’t necessarily share their political views with others, but quietly contribute their time and money to candidates and causes supporting the idea of the American dream.

But whether they’re working on the front lines or behind the scenes, their common bond is a passionate appreciation for the foundational institutions and values that hold this nation — so brilliantly conceived by our Founding Fathers over 250 years ago — together.

The members of this deeply patriotic state yearn for an end to the country’s polarization and stand behind lawmakers who do their duty by holding the executive branch accountable, supporting science, defending the disadvantaged, telling the truth to counter alternative facts, and otherwise acting responsibly and reasonably.

But when a lawless leader bows to Russia and weakens America’s leadership by treating allies as enemies and vice versa, these Americans recoil.

They understand that the role of the U.S. in the post-World War II era was hard fought and even harder won in the last 70 years. They applaud those who work to maintain America’s standing as the pre-eminent leader in the international community by supporting our allies, standing up to hostile nations, denouncing human rights abuses in any form, and nurturing beneficial trade alliances. And they are repulsed at the mere thought of turning our backs on allies who stood in front of our troops on the battlefield. Think about the Kurds

In years past, the vast majority of U.S. citizens shared that mindset. But in recent years, parts of both elected leadership and citizen groups have withdrawn from the group to form something else — something that doesn’t fully appreciate America’s place in the international community, and something that rejected the fundamental truth that if we don’t lead in the world we will follow the worst parts of what is left. Think Russia.

In contrast, the deeply patriotic state values diplomacy over swagger, thoughtful statesmanship over bluster, and well-considered responses to threats over snap judgments. This overwhelming majority of Americans understand that the nation is stronger when it forms global partnerships, helps struggling nations and fulfills its commitments than when it flexes its muscles in isolation, confounding our friends while pleasing our enemies.

These are the principles that made America great on the global scale, not throwing around its military and economic weight like a schoolyard bully.

To the benefit of us all, there are dedicated public servants who understand these fundamentals and are going about the everyday conduct of running a just and fair government.

These individuals, many of whom have dedicated a lifetime of loyal and admirable service, are facing tests in extreme circumstances and some of them are rising to the occasion. They’re responding by whistleblowing when they see corruption, leaking information for the purpose of drawing attention to destructive policies, and in some cases either slow-walking or ignoring some of the more damaging, immoral and illegal orders coming from the Oval Office.

Understand, this is not their first course of action — it’s what these conscientious individuals do when they see no other way of defending their country. And that’s what motivates them: protecting America and American values.

Many of these government officials are coming forward at significant personal risk. Not only are their careers on the line, but in this age of Twitter-violence so is the well-being of their families. So the willingness of these individuals to make such sacrifices speaks to the quality of their character and the strength of their commitment to the country.

Meanwhile, though, they represent just a fraction of the people who are fighting to maintain our national identity as a world leader, a beacon of democracy, defender of the oppressed and protector of the weakened.

It’s this group that our criminal president rants and raves about. It is this group we should all be thankful for in these dark times.

And, without question or hesitation, it is within this deeply patriotic state which we should all see ourselves in the mirror each morning in America.

Brian Greenspun is editor, publisher and owner of the Sun