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Column: What patriotism looks like to me

What does civility and patriotism look like today?

This is what it means to me:

It means you love your country more than you love your political party.

It means you understand and respect the values of our country more than you idolize any political figure.

It means that being truthful is more important than winning any argument.

It means that we appreciate that people of every race and religion have equal standing under the law.

It means that we all have a responsibility to pay taxes and support the endeavors of our country.

It means we each have the right to express our opinions without threatening violence or aggression toward fellow citizens.

It means that we should not demonize those who see the solutions to our problems in a different way than we do.

It means that we each have a responsibility to follow the laws as they are written and to work through the process to change the laws we might not agree with.

It means there are no acceptable reasons for the use of violence or the destruction of property to show frustration with political events.

It means we should recognize that each of us come to this country with a different set of cultural experiences based on our original nationality and it’s the combination of those differences that makes us truly unique. Only the American Indians are native to this land; the rest of us are newcomers.

It means we each have a responsibility to be a contributing citizen to our country. That means having a job and volunteering.

It means we recognize that our founding fathers produced an incredible framework for governing that permits us to recognize our shortcomings and continuously improve our process of self-direction.

There is so much anger and hatred right now brewing in our country that we are putting our core values at risk. Let us step back from the brink of despair and remember what makes us great.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Gerry Mulligan is the publisher of the Chronicle. Email him at gmulligan@chronicleonline.com.