Matriots, Patriots and the Family of Peace
by Garrett Clevenger 3/28/03

I am a patriot. I love my country and am willing to defend it. The biggest threat, from my view, is from an administration whose president usurped the principle that makes this country great: Our right to vote and choose who will lead this nation.

Thousands of people had their votes refused in Florida in the last presidential election. Their names were struck from the voting lists. The objective was to remove names that were the same or similar to felons. But to insure the votes were not counted, Mr. Bush sued. How can we trust someone who wants to hold the most powerful office on this planet so badly that he is willing to deny people their most important right as Americans?

As a patriot, I will defend my country from a fraudulent administration that appears to put financial gain in front of world opinion. An administration that is willing to risk the lives of our soldiers to try to fix the mistakes of a failed foreign policy that has given us many of the problems we now face.

George W. Bush may be new in DC, but many of the men in his administration are old school. Dick Cheney. Donald Rumsfeld. Paul Wolfowitz. Collin Powell. These guys have been meddling in the affairs of our country too long.

As patriots, we need to protect our country from further harm by these fellows. This war and the military machine in the middle east is not the answer to our dilemma. We must support our soldiers by not using our troops there. The current campaign is not defending our country.

It’s time for a regime change in America.

My main point here is to discuss matriotism.

A matriot is someone who loves this planet and is willing to defend her from threats. A matriot understands that all people are part of the human family and deserve the blessings of God. A matriot respects the natural cycles of Earth and realizes the importance of maintaining ecosystems. A matriot knows that war and violence are not the answers to solving conflicts. A matriot is a pacifist, an educator and a healer.

Mr. Bush may consider himself a matriot, too, by claiming he wishes to rid the world of the threat of terrorism for all people on the planet. That is a noble goal. Though he may be sincere, he is ignoring the real threats that face the human race and the root causes of hatred towards America: exploitation from globalization and over-consumption. Thus we have policies that neglect the welfare of our fellow global citizens to insure corporate profits. We have corporate crooks cooking their books and stealing retirement funds from hundreds of thousands of people. We have habitat destruction and air and water pollution that threaten the health of all that depend on a clean environment.

A matriot knows that when you drop a pebble in a pond, ripples will spread everywhere. The bigger the rock, the bigger the shock wave. We can’t drop bombs and not expect to feel the blast. Matriots know that this war and the foreign policy behind it, are causing the tidal waves of resentment. Eventually they will reach our shores.

Matriots pledge allegiance to our Earth and the life that has made this place possible. And to all of creation, on which we depend, one planet, under the sun, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Matriots are patriots. We love and defend our country, but know that only by loving and defending our planet will we ever truly know security. So speak out, fellow matriots, and talk with other patriots. Engage, educate and help stop the military machine. Let us wage peace instead.