American Patriots, Really??

Karen Kudla
3 min readJan 9, 2021


A few days ago I published an article and explained that I had awakened with a feeling of hope for the first time in four years. Unfortunately, a short time later, my feeling of hope was replaced by a feeling of disbelief as I watched the Capital being invaded by insurgents wearing MAGA hats and brandishing confederate flags.

On that day there were two contrasting moments that struck me the most. The first was seeing the tweet by Ivanka Trump asking these “American Patriots” to stop the violence. I read her tweet and at the same time I was watching images of the flag of the United States of America being taken down and replaced with a Trump flag.

“American Patriots” do not break into the capital of the United States of America resulting in injuries and vandalism.

“American Patriots” do not replace the flag of the United States of America with a flag to a person.

Let’s be clear. These people are NOT patriots. They are criminals. This is not a political issue.

The United States of America is a country of law and order. After the Revolutionary War our founding fathers created a system where grievances are settled by a system of laws and courts. The ideal is for justice to be blind and every person is treated equally under the law.

Right and wrong should not be determined by who you know or are friends with. Unfortunately, too many times I hear people make excuses for the behavior of people we like or want something from.

  • Students see star athletes excused for behavior that will get someone else kicked off the team.
  • People in big business are not prosecuted for financial crimes that other individuals would go to jail for.
  • Pardons issued to friends and family and not issued in cases where a miscarriage of justice has occurred.

In the United States of America differences of opinion are settled at the ballot box and in the courts. The system only works if the losing side accepts defeat and moves on. In this system setbacks are temporary. There is always another election coming where ideas can be improved upon and another attempt can be made to convince more voters to join with you.

Whatever grievances these people had with the government were invalidated the minute they marched into the Capital and killed a police officer instead of using the system of government our founding fathers created to settle our differences without violence.

I have been watching the fallout from the invasion of our nation’s capital. One thing I have noticed from the various interviews I listened to is that many of the people involved in the riot believed that they were actually fighting for their rights just like the patriots in the American Revolution.

The purpose of public education is to develop an informed electorate. Based on recent events, we have a section of our electorate that does not understand the basic premises of our system of government. These citizens do not know how to use facts, organize ideas and communicate without violence.

It is time for history classes in schools to begin teaching history with the goal of student understanding of the politics, civics and economics that drive historical events and focus less on simply memorizing isolated dates and events. Students need to be taught how to communicate using civil discourse.

These were not patriots. When the line is crossed from being a peaceful protester trying to express ideas to being a looter, vandal, and murderer it should be called out — by everyone.

I still have hope. Watching the vandals being tracked down by law enforcement and charged for their crimes gives me hope. Seeing the Congress not be swayed from their duty and coming back into session to complete the certification of the election gives me hope. Knowing that the inauguration of the new president will take place as scheduled gives me hope.

I am not going to let my hope be taken away by some thugs and vandals. I am looking forward to what tomorrow brings.



Karen Kudla

I am a retired teacher with a passion for equal opportunity through education for all.