My dad is a World War II vet and a patriot who complains about high taxes and government waste. He thinks abortion is murder and can’t imagine two men getting married. He lived through the Great Depression, so he always pays his bills on time and doesn’t go into debt. He stands proudly at Fourth of July parades, and he always sings the National Anthem. He is appalled that our government would abandoned our ambassadors in Benghazi. He talks about crooked politicians who give crony deals to companies like Solyndra. He wants to shut off his electronics so that NSA can’t spy on him. He wants secure borders. My dad is also a lifelong democrat. Go figure.
There are a lot of other older Americans I know who are just like him, and they are also lifelong democrats. Except now, the Democratic Party no longer reflects their core values. As a matter of fact, their political party is diametrically opposed to their core values. It’s a far cry from the party they remember. Many remain in it only out of loyalty and inertia. Perhaps it is time the reevaluated their party loyalties.
This is why so many people holding beliefs like my dad’s have joined the Tea Party movement. It is a small government, patriotic movement that believes what they believe. It is, indeed, what Mark Potok, Huffington Post columnist and spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, sneeringly refers to as the “Patriot Movement.” Yes, they are patriots, and proud of it. They love their country. Just like my dad does.
Which is why it didn’t surprise me very much to read the results of a Harvard University study showing that those who attend Fourth of July parades are more likely to become “right wingers.” The actual title of the research paper is, Shaping the Nation: Estimating the Impact of Fourth of July Using a Natural Experiment.
The research paper concludes, “There is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican Party.” The paper further stated, “Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation’s political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation primarily in favor of the Republican Party.” Really? The Republicans own the Fourth of July? The Republicans own love of country? What do the Democrats own?
In commenting on the study, Matt Barber wrote, “This, of course, begs the question: If Fourth of July parades churn out little GOPers and embody the values of conservatism, what type of parade might spawn young Democrats? What event best represents liberalism? If Old Glory is the banner behind which conservatives do battle, what pennon do you suppose guides the proud left into combat? Rainbow flag, anyone?”
Barber goes on to explain: “Indeed, the ‘gay pride’ parade perhaps more than any other, best encapsulates the values embraced by today’s secular-progressive left. Think about it. It’s got it all.” Then he lists the following: gay pride parades are obscenely expensive; they celebrate a caution-to-the-wind, enjoy-now-pay-later lifestyle; they have men who act like women and women men; they have flamboyant narcissism, moral relativism, and plenty of gyrating nude bodies; they have colorful public sex displays to confuse, desensitize, and sexualize the kiddos; they have lots of anti-Americanism; and they are devoid of God.
I think he’s on to something. And our President is leading the charge. He is the one who spearheaded the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He is the one who refuses to do his job as chief law enforcement officer and instead attacked the Defense of Marriage Act. He is the commander in chief that allows military chaplains to marry same-sex couples on military bases, and give them benefits reserved for married couples. And our President seems embarrassed, and feels the need to continually apologize, for the nation we once were. The list goes on and on.
When speaking at a fundraiser for the homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign recently, President Obama said of the 2012 election, “This is a contest of values. That’s what’s at stake here. This is a fundamental debate about who we are as a nation.”
He is absolutely right – I couldn’t agree more. This is a contest of values. This is a moral issue. Are we going to be the land that celebrates God and patriotism, or are we going to be a land that celebrates tolerance and diversity of everything except God and morality?
My dad continues to be a democrat, along with many other good men and women I admire; and they continue to vote democrat. But, they either have to ignore the direction of their party, or they have to hold their nose while voting. Perhaps it’s time for the democrats who love truth, morality, and America to take back their party from the radicals. Take it back or abandoned it and let it rot on the vine.
Rev. Daniel Packer has been a pastor for twenty years (Currently he serves as pastor of the Orrington Center Church in Orrington, Maine). He is an active proponent of Biblical morality. His e-mail address is email@example.com.