Unpatriotic defined

I haven’t bothered calling anyone “unpatriotic” lately. Not because I don’t think there are unpatriotic folks around (there are…maybe even more than ever) but because the pointless arguing over the definition of “unpatriotic” which always ensues, usually as the accused trot out dictionaries and then argue over what the dictionary says. Then, they argue over what someone said the dictionary says. Later, they argue over what someone said about what someone said about what the dictionary says.

22% of respondents said they personally hope the new plan doesn’t work.

It’s pathetic really, and all the arguing over definitions doesn’t change a thing.

Anyway, I’m often told that there isn’t really anyone who wants to see America lose…it’s just that a lot of people don’t approve of the way we’re trying to win. (It’s funny, because some of the people telling me this are the same people who seem to actually want America to lose. When I point that out they usually start arguing over what “lose” means or some such idiocy.)

Here is a question and the results from a FoxNews poll conducted last week:

I happened across this after ArmyLawyer and Greyhawk mentioned it in MilBlogs.

22% of respondents (198 out of 900, in this case) said that they “personally hope it doesn’t work”. There is no other way to read that. It is a simple and straightforward question with a yes/no answer. No more than a couple of respondents could have answered wrong because they misunderstood it.

That is unpatriotic. Plain and simple. They don’t want what we’re doing to work. Personally.

They break the results down by party, and while I think it’s interesting that three times as many Democrats as Republicans hope for failure, I don’t think it’s terribly important. What’s important is that 22% personally hope America fails.

It shouldn’t matter if you think the plan is the right plan. We are at war and to personally hope it fails is unpatriotic.

Predictably, there are those in the comments sections claiming that the question doesn’t mean what it looks like it means and that the answers don’t mean what they look like they mean. Pathetic.

To his credit, Greyhawk even rationalizes the responses to a point and notes that twice as many people want the plan to succeed as actually support the plan itself. That’s nice, and important, but it’s not nearly enough.

It shouldn’t matter if you think the plan is the right plan. We are at war and to personally hope it fails is unpatriotic. It doesn’t matter what the plan is. This is a critical point.

If the plan was to airdrop cases of Coca-Cola into Iraq, with the Army Corps of Engineers following up by planting apple trees and helping the Iraqis establish an economy based on honey bees and snow-white turtle doves, anyone who personally hopes it fails would be unpatriotic. The plan would be stupid, obviously, as apple trees would have a hell of a time in Iraq, but no matter how stupid it was we should hope (even if against any hope at all) that it would work.

But many people hope this plan fails. Even though, while not genius in any way, it’s a reasonable plan. They personally hope it fails.

They are unpatriotic and I’m ashamed of them.

If you are one of these 198 people and you know me personally, do NOT tell me. If you personally agree with them, do NOT tell me. I’m ashamed of you already. Don’t push things to the next level.


  1. This just shows that some people would rather see Republicans and/or war hawks discredited than see the U.S. win. I’d guarantee that all of those people fall in one of the following categories: -Want the plan to fail so Bush looks bad. -Want the plan to fail because they were against the war in the first place and don’t want to be proven wrong. -Want the plan to fail so Republicans look bad. -Want the plan to fail because they don’t want to set the precedent that more troops can cure any failure. -(you get the idea) Personally, I desperately want Bush’s plan to work. I don’t think 21,000 more troops will make any difference, except maybe one: it shows the Iraqis that we are serious about fixing the problems (especially those in power who have the ability to do something about it). A change in strategy would not have the same impact without a troop surge to show our seriousness.

  2. All that being said, I agree completely that it’s unpatriotic to wish for failure just to prove yourself (or your side of the argument) right.

  3. Jim: Though there would certainly be some advantages to deporting these idiots, I’ve gotta say I’m not really in favor of it. All I ask is that when I point out how unpatriotic they are, they don’t go running all over like I’ve hurt their feelings or something. They’re on the other side. Fair enough. Don’t complain when I notice. Chuck: I also agree that 21,000 troops, in and of themselves, won’t be a war-changing move. More important than adding troops would be changing tactics, which we seem to be doing a bit. We need to be less in ‘peace keeping’ mode and more in ‘war fighting’ mode. The situation is currently war, not peace. When it reaches peace, then shift to peace keeping. FWIW, we probably could have done nearly everything we’re going to do without adding 21,000 troops. The military thought we could. Even more important than the troops, though, is (as you noted) the message that’s sent, both to Iraqi leaders and to the enemy. Both had probably been expecting a drawdown or a deadline, and instead we upped the ante. Sadr seems to have suddenly changed his tune, and no doubt others will do the same. Most important, though, is the message to the Iraqi population. We cannot win the way we want to without them. Neither can the insurgents/terrorists. The question of if hoping a US military plan fails is ‘unpatriotic’ is so basic and fundamental. I’m constantly amazed at the ways unpatriotic people try to justify their lack of patriotism. It’s really astounding, and underscores the ignorance that they have about the issue.

  4. But Murdoc, you can still be a patriot and be a dissenter – a patriot loves his country enough to point out what’s wrong with it! You’re nothing but a neocon cheerleader!’ Uh, yeah, so how exactly is HOPING FOR US (YOUR OWN SIDE) TO FAIL dissent? DISSENT would be like, ‘uh, let’s try another plan, since you’ve got the impressive track record of a lot of things going wrong…’ I personally think politics can be both a progressive institution and bloodsport but this isn’t just outrageous, it’s laughably absurd.

  5. It shouldn’t matter if you think the plan is the right plan. We are at war and to personally hope it fails is unpatriotic. It doesn’t matter what the plan is. This is a critical point.’ Yes, it would make sense to want to succeed in Iraq, that we could convince the Iraqis to stop killing each other and our troops, that their government could learn to be less corrupt and more efficient. But it would make even more sense to support a plan THAT WOULD WORK. It may be patriotic to support the president’s plan, but it’s beyond foolish to not criticize his lack of success (and future failure).

  6. it’s beyond foolish to not criticize his lack of success (and future failure). Agreed, though I doubt we’d necessarily agree on the level of success so far and the likelihood of success in the future. Anyway, my post’s not about that. How about commenting on the folks who HOPE THIS PLAN FAILS. This isn’t ‘they think it will fail’. This isn’t ‘Why haven’t previous plans succeeded completely?’ This isn’t ‘I have a better plan.’ Again, this is ‘I PERSONALLY HOPE THIS FAILS’. No question. My point is that it’s unpatriotic to think so, and that every time I call someone out on being unpatriotic they suddenly try to turn the conversation into something else. Don’t try to turn the conversation into something else. Comment on the folks who want this to fail.

  7. 22%? What about the 15% that ‘don’t know?’ I think you have 37% that would be definitively UNPATRIOTIC, fot he exact reasons you lay out. Frankly, that number is so high, I question the validity of the poll, just on a gut level, however. Are there really THAT MANY sorry excuses for citizens in this nation??? jim b.: Forced deportation? No, thats against what this country stands for. Incentives to emmigrate? Absolutely!!! J.: Don’t try and change the topic, for what purpose would you want to remove the spotlight from these 37% of respondants?