Dear editor,

The dictionary defines a patriot as one who loves and defends his country. The dictionary defines patriotic as being loyal to or devoted to a country. Both patriot and the patriotic pledge their allegiance to their country.

Patriotic people demonstrate love of and loyalty to their country in various ways: flying a flag, wearing a flag pin, cheering when a flag goes by, rising to sing the “Star Spangled Banner,” putting political signs on their lawns, vehicles and businesses.

Patriots express love of and loyalty to their country by going a step further. They defend their country in thought, word and deed in various ways. They stay informed, think critically, march, organize, educate others, author books and articles, write laws, defend them and enforce them. They promote the welfare and dignity of all. They work singly and in groups for one common purpose: to keep their country safe and a good place in which to live.

Millions in the U.S. today are neither patriots or patriotic. They have pledged their allegiance to a person, not their country. These flag-draped, flag-waving, patriots-in-name-only have abandoned their country, the Constitution, and often family and friends to pledge allegiance to Donald J. Trump, a man who has already demonstrated that he is unfit for office and promises more of the same should he be reelected. They have traded their country for a foul-mouthed loser and a convicted felon.

History demonstrates that sometimes the bravest and truest patriots are those who stand up against leaders and would-be leaders of their country when they are harming the country and its people. These patriots are willing to take unpopular stands against what is wrong and try to make it right. 

Be a patriot. Your country needs you. Talk with your neighbors and family members about the values you hold dear. Help get out the vote. 

Joanne Lee Storlie of Janesville

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email [email protected] or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.