“Dear FOX News, Here’s a Fourth of July gift for you, from an Obama supporter and patriotic American,” begins a note from Anthony in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “This year my son and I plan to use window paints to fill our big picture window with the American flag. Please remember that all kinds of Americans, not just Republican Americans, love their country!”
We received notes like this from more than 600 of you in the first 48 hours of our call to tell Fox News to stop branding progressives as unpatriotic, and instead contribute to a respectful debate about the future direction of the country. Each of these people is sending the personnel at Fox News a flag pin that they can wear to remind them that millions of progressive Americans love and stand up for America.
Here’s a sample of the messages you’re sending with those pins:
- “Dear Fox News, You might believe that you are the only Americans who see the value in freedoms, but you would be wrong. The patriots who founded this Nation came from a variety of backgrounds and held a variety of beliefs. Some were progressives, just like me. My grandfathers who fought in the War of 1812, and the Civil War, and my father who served in the Navy in WWII, all believed that they were patriots, and defended our Nation to allow the liberties you criticize, and in fact abuse! I love my country, and I honor our flag, not just this week, but every week. You do not own patriotism. It seems you do not even know what it is! End your criticism of those who disagree with you as being ‘unpatriotic’. Dissent is at the very heart of our First Amendment. None of us can pick and choose which liberties we would like to honor!”
—David D., Berwyn, Pa.
- “My father flew 55 missions over the European theater in World War II and in 1949 died flying for the Air National Guard. My daughter is a Lt. Commander in the Navy Reserve. I love this country and would not want to live anywhere else. I fly the flag as often as I can. I am against our intervention in Iraq. I am for hunting down Al Qaida. I am also for caring for our infrastructure (roads, etc.), providing the best educational system in the world, making health care available to every one and finding and supporting alternative energy. Please don’t call me unpatriotic because I am a liberal. I love this country and want it to be better in every way.”
—Ann S., Fredericksburg, Texas.
- “America right or wrong does not make a patriot. Patriotism is related to protecting our country by upholding the rights of the Constitution and above all being honest in all our endeavors.”
—Maria, Randolph, Vt.
- “Dear Fox News, I am the most patriotic of patriotic Americans. I actually became a citizen for the sole reason of being able to vote, in my opinion, one of the highest expressions of patriotism. I understand the true meaning of patriotism which is supporting your country by loving her enough to cheer her on when she is right and letting her know when she is on the wrong track so that it can be corrected. I support our troops without question and would put my life on the line for this country I have adopted. Finally, I love my country. I love my flag. I’m a patriotic progressive American. Please accept this 4th of July gift, and end the attacks on patriotic Americans!”
—Wendy M., San Rafael Calif.
- “How dare you say that I am not patriotic just because my political and social beliefs are different from your own! How dare you tell me that I am not patriotic when I know, sing and revere our national anthem; when I proudly display our flag, year around; when I say what I think, even though others may disagree or may not want to hear it. This is a DEMOCRACY and to denigrate others who are forthright in their disagreement is to denigrate ALL OF US!! Shame on you!”
—Marjorie C., Sebastopol, Calif.
- “I appreciate our multicultural past. I support real benefits and help for our returning soldiers. I am against Halliburton’s money gouging tactics taking real money from our troops. I will display my American flag proudly and boldly this Fourth.”
—Robert M., Columbus, Ohio
- “Americans are currently engaged in a national debate on how to forge a new direction for our nation after eight years of bitter divisiveness and the unending list of failed policies of the Bush administration. Sadly, Fox News is not a part of that debate, but instead is bent on defending the status quo and making rabid-dog attacks on patriotic Americans and their hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow. Your brand of journalism (Ha!) is better suited to China or Russia, where honest and open debate is not tolerated, and espousing the party line is the only news tolerated.”
—Bill W., Palm Bay, Fla.
- “As a veteran of World War II—in the combat engineers in Germany—I resent slurs about the patriotism of people who disagree with you.”
— Harry F., Roslyn Heights N.Y.
- “As a Vietnam era Army veteran, I want you all to know that patriotic Americans do not all believe as you all do. Lapel pins and bumper stickers and your noise on TV do not define patriotism; working toward a better future for all Americans in a tolerant and inclusive society and respecting the Constitution do define patriotism.”
— Matthew K., Tempe, Ariz.
- “As an Army Reserve veteran, I find your remarks unpatriotic because they intend to divide the country for partisan purposes.”
—Jerry S., Washington, D.C.
- “One does not have to hate those one disagrees with; one does not have to lie about them either. And certainly, people who love their country and believe in its principles cannot betray it by indulging in cheap, hateful and lying innuendoes. I am a loyal American who is appalled by some of the tactics you all engage in. This flag is an emblem of the country we share; it is not an idol, but it should be respected by the best we are, not the shoddiest.”
—Betty L., St. Paul, Minn.
- “As an immigrant to this country, I was appalled at the Swift Boat attacks against John Kerry in the last election. I do not believe these are the actions of patriotic people. Patriotism to me is love of country and respect for its citizens.”
—Rosemary G., Foster City, Calif.
- “Criticism of the Bush administration is an act of love of this country and its constitution, and not a sign of unpatriotism. In contrast to Fox News, I love this country and rejoice in the First Amendment.”
—Millie Fortier, San Francisco, Calif.
- “Dear fellow Americans, Do you ever scold your kids when they do something wrong? THAT’S what REAL Americans do when America does something wrong, WE try to make America better! Progressive Americans are America’s hope for a better tomorrow and a better America. Conservatives want to go back to the 1950s when only white males had power and opportunity. STOP the attacks on patriotic Americans!”
— David P., Austin Texas
- Dear Fox “News” – I respect and love the American dream, the Constitution of the United States, the members of the Armed Forces and all those who care about people different from themselves. The American way is compassionate, informed, and in the public interest. Enjoy this symbol of patriotism from a progressive American!”
—Virginia W., Lincoln, Neb.
- “Democracy is messy by definition and it appears you use this to misrepresent political views that differ with your own as being unpatriotic. None of the parties have a monopoly on patriotism and to claim that progressives don’t love this great, but imperfect country is laughably absurd.”
—Terry B., Oceanside, Calif.
- “Dear Fox News, Please join me in celebrating the American principle that people of differing political viewpoints can respect each other as fellow patriots. I hold “liberal” viewpoints and am also patriotic. I support policies that make our country strong and secure. I differ from your commentators in how we can best achieve that goal. Please stop impugning my patriotism simply because I disagree with you.”
—Andrew S., Jamaica Plain, Mass.
- “Patriotism does NOT belong to one party or ideology and I urge you to cease your incessant attacks. Please accept our 4th of July gift in hopes we can all come together & recognize that we are all true patriots under the same grand flag & constitution that celebrates our unity even among diversity. God bless America!”
—Patricia D., Little Neck, N.Y.
- “My family came to this country in 1683 and have been part of building it and defending it ever since. We came for religious and political freedom—we were progressives then and we are now. I love my flag and the nation its stands for and I respect your right to your views, with this gift I ask you to respect mine and those of people like me. That is what patriotism is all about in this country. Stop attacking the patriotism of your fellow Americans; it’s un-American.”
—Mark L., East Rockaway, N.Y.