'Beware of Ignorance and Greed Disguised as Patriotism'

The burial markers at Arlington National Cemetery are not separated based upon partisan politics; there are no liberal or conservative sections of this sacred place...

Each year on the 4th of July as we celebrate our national unity we should also take time to remember the human toll exacted when national unity is severed. At times in our history the allegiance and loyalty of the common man has been manipulated by those that profit from disharmony.

If you doubt the fragile nature of American unity, then remember a cheerless Independence Day on July 4, 1863 in the small, rural town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Imagine the horror experienced by the 2400 residents of this small town when they awoke on the morning of July 4th to find the carnage of 8000 American dead scattered on their fields.

The Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War was one of the costliest battles in our nation’s history. Nearly 150 years after the American Civil War the causes are still a matter of passionate debate.

Slavery, the central issue, was defined in economic terms rather than as a moral issue.  Southern Politicians were slave owners, therefore the economic factors resulting from the elimination of slavery impacted directly on them. But for the average soldier on both sides, the issue of slavery was not paramount; southern farmers could not afford slaves and most northern farmers had never seen a slave. Therefore southern politicians convinced their majority that the North was intent upon destroying their culture and way of life, and northern politicians convinced their majority that by seceding the Confederacy was destroying our beloved democracy.

Both Northern and Southern politicians knew that it would be a mistake to base the fight solely on the economics of slavery because many on both sides would refuse to fight. Regardless, many soldiers came to realize the Civil War was in truth a "rich man's war and a poor man's fight".

Long before Abe Lincoln took office he was demonized in the South. He was pictured as a radical abolitionist of the John Brown type. The South claimed Lincoln was prepared to override the laws and tread on the Constitution in order to achieve his radical agenda. According to historian Michael Burlingame, the south saw Lincoln as a "Robespierre ready to overturn the fabric of our society". In some ways, the denunciations of Lincoln are eerily similar to the onslaught heaped on President Obama today.

I have walked the somber battle fields of Gettysburg on more than one occasion in my life; I have climbed the rocks at Devil's Den, stood on Little Round Top, walked the rolling fields of Picket's Charge and looked out from the Union Lines near the High Water Mark. I used to wonder how Americans could turn against each other with the degree of anger and hatred necessary to fight this bloody conflict; brother against brother. 

Presently, tumultuous political voices have opened a door to understanding the mindset that pits brother against brother. The intensity of discord that we have experienced  beginning with the 2008 Presidential campaign and continuing over the last 4 years provides a virtual laboratory for the study of the process that resulted in the division of our country prior to the Civil War.

As of late, despite the hard-fought lessons of history and the legacy of our Civil War, I have heard some extremists threaten rebellion if President Obama is re-elected or armed revolt in response to nonexistent threats to their gun rights. These foolish claims of tyranny and threats of rebellion against our federal government come from those that believe they are better Americans simply because they wrap themselves in the flag and call themselves patriots.

The burial markers at Arlington National Cemetery are not separated based upon partisan politics; there are no liberal or conservative sections of this sacred place or areas of Arlington designated Democratic or Republican. Progressive F.D.R. Liberals are buried next to the most conservative of Republicans and that is only fitting, they fought to defend our nation together and they died together without concern for partisan politics.

In defense of our national unity, we must listen to the whispers of those long dead on the battlefield of Gettysburg, as they say to us, "Beware my brother, beware of ignorance and greed disguised as patriotism".

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bob Griffiths July 11, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Well, well, now…just take a deep breath and control your frustration, I know this “freedom of speech” thing is so difficult for conservatives. Being consistently on the wrong side of economic, social, and political issues has made you thin-skinned. You need to come to grips with your history of failure and get beyond it. You should have listened and learned from Franklin D. Roosevelt back in 1933, when he said, “A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward”. I know the future has always presented such fear for conservatives, it will be OK, just allow the Progressives to make it all better just like we did after your last economic catastrophe, remember the Great Depression? Remember Hoover? That hurt didn’t it, but you got over it, just like you will someday get over that Bush problem. Now you just sit back and relax and let the Progressives make it all better. We’ve done this before for you.
jerseyswamps July 11, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Done what? FDR tried to help during the depression. But NONE of his programs worked. It was our pre war help for the Britts and then our entry into the war that got us out of the depression. And as I recall the war did hurt a few people. Maybe you're on to something. Obama's programs aren't working. And things are heating up in the Middle East.
Thomas Scarano July 11, 2012 at 04:51 PM
when Bob?
Bob Griffiths July 11, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Now there you go, that same old conservative “spin” on the New Deal and FDR, “He didn’t help America during the Great Depression”, really? Come now, everyone knows that the newest version of conservative history begins in 2008 as if nothing occurred prior to that, well for conservatives nothing “good” occurred prior to that anyway. If conservatives are right and FDR “didn’t do anything” then why did the American people elect him 4 times, 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944? For gosh sakes after Roosevelt died the conservatives had to pass an amendment limiting the President’s term to 2 in order to prevent the conservatives from becoming extinct. As for FDR programs being successful to the future economic security of American families…where do I start, how about we list them: The Federal Reserve Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Fair Labor Standards Act GI Bill Securities and Exchange Commission Tennessee Valley Authority FHA Should I go on? Now, what programs have conservatives ever enacted that directly helped American families?
Ryan Hardy July 11, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Bob, are you kidding me? The Federal Reserve is a tool for the Rothschild bankers to extract even more money out of us. We are enslaved to the debt from it, and social security and all of these entitlement are just PONZI SCHEMES. We need to get rid of the unconstitutional treason being forced on the american people by these foreign bankers! END THE FED! and INDICT BUSH AND OBAMA AS WAR CRIMINALS
Mike July 11, 2012 at 05:26 PM
I seem to recall some Tea Partiers calling for armed rebellion a few years ago. Anyway, love him or hate him, Obama is a great uniter -- he has brought together a coalition of the dangerously naive, the badly misinformed, the fundamentally stupid and the downright corrupt.
Lisa July 11, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Bob, for people who identify themselves as conservatives/Republicans, they are NOT on the "wrong side" of anything they staunchly believe in.
antonio movado July 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM
you are 1000 % right bob.
Thomas Scarano July 11, 2012 at 05:50 PM
The 13,14,15th amendments to the comstitution
jerseyswamps July 11, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Bobby, I never said many of FDR's ideas and programs did not survive. Just that they did not lift us out of the depression. It was businesses supplying what was needed to fight a war that ended the depression. I don't want my kids to wait 30 years for Obama's ideas to stumble into doing some good. Nor do I want a war to jump start the economy. There's got to be a better way.
Thomas Scarano July 11, 2012 at 06:07 PM
1.Taft-Hartley Act 2.Twenty-Second Amendment (term limits for the presidency) 3.Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (Kemp-Roth Tax Cut) 4.Tax Reform Act of 1986 (substantially lowered tax rates) 5.Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (welfare reform) 6.Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003
Typical Obama Voter July 11, 2012 at 06:17 PM
@ Whacky BOB....lets see...conservative programs that helped families......hmmmm.....Try the Declaration of Independence, The US Constitution, The Emancipation Proclamation, The US Marine Corps, The US Navy, The US Army, The US Air Force. The great depression should have lasted 3 years instead of 13. It wasnt a coincidence that the economic recovery started after FDR died. WW2 was the biggest factor in the recovery.FDR packed the courts with liberal socialist judges who ensured people were kept in poverty and had to vote for the guy giving them their food.FR did some good and gave some people the oppertunity to work for a government paycheck. I would rather have them work for a paycheck them have them sit home and collect Lyndon Johnsons free handouts for doing nothing. The liberal idea of a successful president is one who gives away the most free stuff. That is the problem
Drivingtoofar July 11, 2012 at 06:31 PM
IS Uncle Moe short for Uncle Moron? Really??? foreign national??? you lose any credibility when you make comments like that. I do agree both parties suck, but with your birtherism I would by default go against anythign you say, even if it was the sky is blue I would have trouble believing you
Typical Obama Voter July 11, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Hey Whacky BOB.... the number one program in the country to help families is, was and always will be by conservatives. It is called the Christian Church. Yes Whacky, Christianity has fed more hungry, sheltered more homeless and clothed more needy, and nursed back to health and educated more people than any liberal program or atheist communist has. Thats right. Conservative Christians donate more money to charity, run more charities, shelters, soup kitchens, than the liberals and atheists do. Conservative politicians donate FAR more to charity than the cheap skate democrats do. It is a proven fact. Conservatives help the poor with their own time and money because they truly care. Liberal democrats like to spend other peoples money instead of their own just to win votes.
Bob Griffiths July 11, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I didn't say give me examples of conservative programs that helped the rich and corporations but hurt working families: Kemp-Roth Tax Cut)1986 - Interest on consumer loans such as credit card debt was no longer deductible and the top tax rate was lowered from 50% to 28% while the bottom rate was raised from 11% to 15%, the decrease in tax revenue from the highest earners contributed greatly to our deficit. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996: It increased poverty, lowered income for single mothers, put people from welfare into homeless shelters, and left states free to eliminate welfare entirely. It moved mothers from welfare to work, but many of them aren't making enough to survive nor can they afford health care for themselves or their children, when it was passed, tens of thousands of women were in college, and moved into well-paid jobs when they graduated, but completing secondary education is almost impossible under the new rules. This was the "shot heard round the world" and the beginning of the Republican war on women. Again, what programs have conservatives ever enacted that directly helped American families and I don't mean helping corporations or the highest income levels, did I say corporations? They don't need help, they are doing just fine. I know conservatives think corporations are people, but they are not. I’m surprised you didn’t list outsourcing our jobs offshore as a Republican program to help American Families.
jerseyswamps July 11, 2012 at 07:43 PM
OK Bob, Now you entered my world. Welfare reform, homelessness, social programs [like TANF, GA, food stamps, etc.]. My opinions on these issues are based on first hand knowledge. Not on what I read or hear from sources that slant towards my way of thinking, ... like some people here. I am a social worker. Worked in the streets for over 32 years. I know all the programs that were supposed to help people. Some call them safety nets. I worked for DYFS for many years. Then with young mothers on welfare and then the homeless population. I've had many THOUSANDS of cases over the past 32 years. Few people who do not work in the system have any idea how much waste, fraud and abuse there is with all the social programs. It is staggering. I'm sure some people lost some benefits with reform. But it didn't put a dent in the fraud and abuse by clients. That's just the money angle. The culture it has fostered is what most saddens me. Generations who's goal is to get on a long term program like SSI and then long term housing help like public housing or a Section 8 apartment. Throw in some food stamps and Medicaid and they have reached their American dream. They don't have to worry. There will always be politicians looking for their votes and people like you who will say "we don't do enough". And "if it wasn't for the greedy you wouldn't be in this terrible situation." I can go on for pages. Perhaps I will write a blog here someday about welfare. Look for it.
jerseyswamps July 11, 2012 at 07:57 PM
BTW people, Bob mentions the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. Passed by both houses and signed by right winger Bill Clinton [D]. It reformed welfare starting in 1997. A big part of it was the expectation that those who could should seek work or training with lots of support from the state. But don't believe me or Bob. Look it up. Start with Wikipedia.
antonio movado July 11, 2012 at 08:35 PM
How many welfare recipients applied for jobs today???? LMAO, none....
Bob Griffiths July 11, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Ok, jersey swamp, what's the solution, do we abandon poor children because their parents are lazy, do we stop funding for school lunch programs and after school programs to keep them off the streets? Do we abandon children that need help the most, there is human depredation and as Plato said in the 5th book of the Republic, "Poverty is the mother of crime" and that statement is just as valid here and now.
So Much to Say July 11, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Bob Griffiths wants to distribute the wealth. Like all democRATS want to do. Take from the middle class via more taxes and give to the poor via welfare programs. The only poor I care about is ME. That scum presidents says I'm wealthy but according to my checkbook I'm not. Let the parents of these "poor kids" take care of their own kids. NOT MY PROBLEM!!!!!!!!
Bob English July 11, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I thought even the insane birther conspiracy group went away after the State of Hawaii released a copy of the Presidnets long form birth certificate. By the way, how does health care reform destroy the middle class? The only ones who have anything to worry about are those that can afford to purchase health insurance and dont and are instead freeloading off of everyone else when they become ill. In 2006 Gov Romney referred to the individual mandate as the "personal responsibility principle."
jerseyswamps July 11, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Well Bob, A good start would be to accept the reality that you don't have to be a 1%'er or work on Wall Street to be a greedy cheat. There are all around us. Some collect welfare, unemployment, or some kind of government check. Many are employed and work hard but also scam their system. Sometimes with the help of their political connections or union. I'm all for most of the social programs in place designed to help those who need help. But let's make sure the programs are not abused. Where I work[ed] there is almost no one to investigate fraud. If a worker suspects fraud they can close or hold up a case but no real consequences. Prosecution is rare and only when huge sums are involved. There is no incentive for clients to NOT cheat. The whole attitude everywhere is "it's not real money. I'm entitled". You won't hear liberal politicians talk about waste, fraud and abuse. Instead it is "vote for me and I'll give you more". Obama wants to hire 16,000 new IRS agents to go after taxpayers to make sure they pay for his health car bill. How about hiring a small handful to investigate fraud and waste in all the social programs? Just a few weeks ago there was a story on NJ.com about the president of a board of ed in north jersey busted for lying to get her kid on the free lunch program. Entitlement attitude. There's a lot we can do without hurting children. What about the single adult w/o a minor child on welfare? Too tired to go on for hours about this group.
jerseyswamps July 11, 2012 at 11:04 PM
BTW people, did you know there is a limit of 1500 spaces for comments? Just had to scratch some thoughts.
Berkeley Lifer July 12, 2012 at 01:44 AM
movado as ever you are as sharp as a cue ball and jersey swamp fdr didnt have any programs that worked ? yeah our national highway system and social security 80 yrs and going strong. meanwhile republicans were spending $10 billion a month each on building roads and bridges in iraq and afghanistan where we,ve spent over a trillion bucks pounding rocks into gravel for 10 yrs.
Berkeley Lifer July 12, 2012 at 01:47 AM
bob the biggest hypocrisy from conservatives is their constant whining that their constitution is being taken away and as soon as you disagree with them the first thing they try to do is tell you that you shouldnt have the first ammendment right of free speech because you see bob the founding fathers wrote the constitution for them and them only.
Berkeley Lifer July 12, 2012 at 01:55 AM
the funniest part is that most of them including bayboat etc voted for sara palin in 2008. movada even had her campaign posters all over the outside of his trailer home. lol
wheres murrow? July 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM
The IRS is not hiring 16000 new agents. That is misinformation being spread to malign the ACA. The question is, will people be mad at themselves for believing the lie or mad at the source they got it from for lying to them?
romney's car elevator operator July 15, 2012 at 03:26 AM
hey bayboat i guess you dont read the newspapers because if you did you wouldnt be so clueless about the dna . turns out it was the nypd lab who botched the dna and the employee is facing departmental charges for tainting evidence. so it wasnt from ows as you foolishly concluded but then again what can you expect when those like bayboat only get their info from fox news .
Christie DaLiar July 16, 2012 at 10:19 PM
What the hell is liberal DNA? Is that DNA that drips to the left as opposed to the right?
mary54 August 28, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Yea, like passing a constitutional amendment against abortion so weirdos like Akin and Chris Smith can tell a pregnant female how to control her life. Brave men! It seems that the republicans like to control the lives of little people and let the big business guys get away with financial mayhem (among other things.)


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