The Republican Senator who raised his fist in solidarity with Trump’s insurrectionists on January 6, to incite them to action just prior to their attack on the United States Capitol, recently introduced legislation to use public schools to “promote patriotism” to the United States. Like most of the absurdities coming from Republicans since Trump, this latest absurdity simply beggars belief.
It was apparent to anyone who witnessed Republican Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) show his support for, both before and after, the Trump rebels who attacked the Capitol on January 6 that the reality is Hawley has no concept of what it means to be a patriot.
Hawley also demonstrated that he has no concept of what it means to support and defend the United States Constitution by voting to wipe out democracy on January 6. He also then attempted to cover up his party and Trump’s involvement in seditious conspiracy to overthrow Constitutional order by voting against a bipartisan commission to investigate Trump’s seditious conspiracy leading up to the attack on the Capitol.
Simply put, Josh Hawley has to be one of the least qualified people in America to profess a desire to promote patriotism. In fact, most Republicans are lacking what it means to be patriotic according to the definition of patriotism. According to several textbook definitions:
“Patriotism is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to a country and alliance with other citizens to create a feeling of oneness among the people. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings including several cultural, political or historical aspects.” (author bold)
Republicans have thrived on being divisive for decades, and anyone who is not devoted to their worldview is regarded as “the other.” As a movement, particularly since Trump, Republicans have no sense of attachment to the idea of “a sense of oneness among the people” so critical to being patriotic.
According to Hawley, his legislation, so-called “The Love America Act,” will singlehandedly “promote patriotism in education” by withholding federal money from any public school that teaches students the real, factual history of America. In particular, Harley’s legislation will ban the teaching of historical facts regarding how white supremacy and/or racism played a major role in the founding the United States.
Hawley’s legislation has nothing whatsoever to do with promoting patriotism. He is joining the GOP’s nationwide crusade to enact laws that prevent the teaching of “critical race theory.” As a reminder, critical race theory is the academic discipline centered on the concept that racism is an everyday experience for the majority of people of color, and that racism has shaped the country’s legal and social systems. It is a concept that a major portion of white society does not want exposed or changed because it only benefits white people.
Hawley’s bill also requires schools that receive federal funding to guarantee that all students can read and recite portions of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance at certain grade levels.
Obviously, whatever public school Hawley and most Republicans attended as children failed miserably in teaching them how to read, much less recite and understand, any part of the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. If that was not the case, Republicans would have rejected Trump’s seditious conspiracy leading up to the attempted coup d’etat and insurrection against the United States on January 6.
In promoting his white supremacy indoctrination bill, Hawley stated:
“We cannot afford for our children to lose faith in the noble ideals this country was founded on. We have to make sure that our children understand what makes this country great, the ideals of hope and promise our Founding Fathers fought for, and the love of country that unites us all.”
If Hawley had spent any time learning about America’s founding or its history when he was in public school, he would know that “the noble ideals” this country was founded on centered on the notion that people of color (slaves) were regarded as property and counted as 3/5ths of a person.
Those people of color were considered inferior to white people. The nation was founded on white supremacy that eventually that drove the country into the most deadly war in America’s history – the so-called American Civil War.
It isn’t clear who Hawley is trying to impress, but one can accurately surmise it is the Republican base seething with white rage that people of color have the temerity to demand the equal rights guaranteed to every American in the Constitution; a very important “aspect” of that Constitution Hawley and his Republican cohort rejects out of hand.
That point was made by a Texas state representative who best explained precisely what the motivation behind Hawley’s “Love America Act” really is, and it has nothing to do with patriotism. Democratic Texas state Rep. James Talarico said:
“The focus is not children. The focus is on scoring points with old, white voters who see the country slipping away from them demographically.”
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.