GUEST APPEARANCE: It’s not about you or me. It is about the common good. | Opinion

Protests against police brutality, causing damage and upsetting a community are un-American. The protesters carried signs and chanted demands for justice and resembled the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s. America should never tolerate such protests, after all, aren’t we the best country in the world? If you don’t like it, leave.

Truckers in Canada were protesting vaccination mandates. These people, although causing damage to businesses and causing unrest in the streets, were “freedom fighters”. Fight for the right not to be vaccinated. These protesters carried Canadian, Don’t Tread on Me and American flags. As long as flags like this are carried, they must be legitimate patriots fighting for freedom.

Colin Kaepernick and other athletes dared to kneel during our national anthem. The disrespect shown by these selfish, spoiled, overpaid people is a travesty and, as Trump said, they should all be fired. How un-American can someone be to disrespect the flag, and therefore our soldiers past and present. If they don’t like America, they should leave.

On January 6, 2021, thousands of people waving flags, carrying crosses, dressed in fatigues and armed protested as they passed through security to enter our Capitol. They were protesting against the fake election results and the corrupt voting process that would lead to the official election of a new president that day. The belief was that there was no way Trump would lose: “Did you see everyone at his rallies?” The vote was not legitimate, and once again ‘freedom fighters’ had to make their case inside the Capitol no matter what the cost to the nation’s well-being. .

Welcome to the mind of FLT columnist David D’Amico. These are examples of the beliefs that inform his opinions, as well as their contradictions. These are also the beliefs that inform the opinions of most Republicans these days, especially Republican and Christian nationalists.

To clarify, the protests in Canada and on Capitol Hill were nothing more than reflections of society’s shift from caring about the common good of its people to exposing the overreach of perceived individual rights. Our individual rights pale in comparison to our responsibilities and obligations to others and the common good. The prominent actions of truckers and flag-draped nationalists in Washington are what drive societies to collapse under authoritarian or entropic rule.

D’Amico said peacefully kneeling during the anthem to protest real-life police brutality is a disrespect to the American flag. However, using that same flag to beat law enforcement officers, smash Capitol windows, and scatter feces on Capitol walls in support of a lie? It is the actions of people that protect their rights. They are “patriots”.

In reality, they were protesting against a lie. This has been proven by over 60 unsuccessful lawsuits, not just my opinion. Truckers and parents at school board meetings are protesting because they are more concerned with their own ill-informed rights than with the well-being of their neighbors and communities.

As you read Mr. D’Amico’s column, or any writing – including my own – please keep in mind the words of Bill Bullard: “Opinion is the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no responsibility, no understanding. The highest form of knowing is empathy because it forces us to suspend our ego and live in another’s world. It requires a deeper purpose that is broader than the “self” type of understanding.

Remember it’s not about you or me. It is about protecting the principles of the “common good” upon which our country was truly founded and which are being destroyed by the evil cult of individual rights.

Peter Pontius lives in Waterloo.