Opinion » Letters

Patriotism and freedom


In 1798 President John Adams signed into law various Alien and Sedition Acts.

Alien laws were created to make it harder to become a naturalized citizen. To control the vote, the Federalists sought to control those who were viewed as enemies: the aliens.

The Sedition Act was to charge anyone who said, or printed, false news about the government with treason. Adams' administration had a lot of critics so he enacted a law to imprison them.

Both the Alien Act and the Sedition Act were enacted in the name of nationalism.

Ironically, these acts led to Adams' defeat and the end of the Federalist Party, to Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic-Republican Party in 1800.

History does repeat itself. We cannot view Trump's creating a patriotic storm over athletes choosing to express their freedom as a one-time effort to enforce loyalty to our country.

Will there be other ways we will be defined if we are patriots or not? Will we become a society of "they," not "we." Fly the flag or you're not a true patriot?

Calling kneeling players "sons of bitches" in an Alabama speech is a red flag of what could lead to legislation to curb fundamental rights guaranteed in our Constitution. All in the name of patriotism.

Don't think it can't happen here; it already did. In 1798.

Gary J. Freiberg

Los Osos

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