Bladine: Patriotism doesn’t thrive in secrecy

There’s big political news afoot, but I was sworn to secrecy this week by Donald Trump Jr.’s email: “This confidential invitation is meant only for you — do not share it with anyone. My father and I are trusting you.”

Junior continued: “My father is about to announce something huge. He is giving you the exclusive opportunity to be on the Official Trump Announcement Priority List. This means you will be among the First Patriots to hear the breaking news from my father.”

I doubt that my violation of Junior’s secrecy plea will have consequences. It’s a reminder of the drama playing across America in secret campaigns whipping up fervor among believers of the Big Steal and the Democrats’ plot to end all personal and economic freedoms.

Another DJT surrogate sent this related email: “Can you keep a secret? President Trump’s brand-new social media site is launching this month. It’s going to be huge … This is a big deal, since only a few Top Patriots are selected. Don’t tell anyone.”

I would have felt more honored to be on DJT’s A-list if the email hadn’t been addressed to “Paul.”

But speaking of patriots, how about U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky? You may or may not love his politics, which shifted right from his early years as a moderate, but you can respect his stand-up statement this week about the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on our U.S. Capital.

McConnell for years has been squeezed by a combination of political pragmatism, internal conscience, and external consciousness of a growing threat to his Republic Party. It was a last straw when the Republican National Committee voted to censure Republican U.S. Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

The RNC said their participation on the House committee investigating Jan. 6 is part of “a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

That phrase — “legitimate political discourse” — will ring loud and long in upcoming campaigns. But meanwhile, in its aftermath, Mitch McConnell was clear and concise and patriotically correct:

“ We all were here; we saw what happened. It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power — after a legitimately certified election — from one administration to the next. That’s what it was.”

Politics and ideologies aside, I’ll stand with McConnell, Cheney and Kinzinger in their recognition that real patriotism is not partisan. And it definitely is not a secret.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.


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