While waiting for my turn a magazine cover lying on the couch caught my eye. “Charlton Heston, Death of a Patriot” was its title. “Ahhh” I said to myself, “it’s an NRA publication.” Now I don’t want to dispute the merits of whether Mr. Heston is, or is not, a Patriot. What I take issue is the how the NRA chooses to define what a patriot is. There are certain words, of which patriot one of them , that transcend above politics and singular issues and do not belong to one side or the other. The NRA calls Mr. Heston a patriot not so much because he marched along side Martin Luther King, or joined the Air Force in WWII but because he “found his anchor in the tenet of conservative values” of which one of the principles tenets is the zealous commitment to the protection of the 2nd amendment. I just have a feeling that this is why he was anointed by the NRA as a “patriot.”
We Americans spend a lot of time claiming that those we disagree with are somehow less deserving of certain words like “American,” “Christian,” or “patriot” that hold a great deal of significance & meaning. How presumptuous of some to do that or the rest of us to allow it to happen. Just today I was listening to an AM conservative talk show where the host claimed that if Obama was such a patriot he would have written more about America in his book.
I don’t know if there is a litmus test out there that would definitively allow us the ability to attach the word patriot to Mr. Heston or anyone else for that matter. Assuming that Mr. Heston is, indeed, a patriot for reasons other than his attachment to the NRA cause, I wonder if the NRA would also call Mr. James Brady a patriot upon his death as well. Or is that term only reserved for those they have deemed worthy?