Pseudo Patriots

by Dave Batcheller, September 2015.

Many years ago I was impacted by a little booklet called “Pseudo Discipleship,” a somewhat humorous, yet penetrating message that exposed the many faces of half-hearted Christianity. A similar type of complacency and self-delusion deeply affects our nation in many other ways, including our understanding and level of patriotism. While tensions and divisions are on the rise in America, and while our national morality, economy, and foreign policies all spin out of control, our leaders continue to shred the Constitution and guide us into deeper troubles. We desperately need to be jolted out of our slumber before it is too late.

The word “pseudo” is defined as something that has an appearance without substance; pretending, false, fake, or spurious. It can also mean something that is “almost, or trying to be.” By its very nature, it is disguised in half truths and hypocrisy. What appears on the surface is not the same as what’s on the inside. “Pseudo Patriots” come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They come from all backgrounds and levels of society. The common denominator that links them all together is the way in which their personal character flaws are woven together with positive, admirable traits. Pseudo Patriots often appear to be experts—knowledgeable, determined, outspoken, even courageous at times. Yet their inconsistencies and blind spots leave them quite vulnerable, and poor examples for others to follow.

Carefully consider the different characters I present here. I have met most of them along the way, and I have seen some of their tendencies within myself. You will probably recognize people that you know as well. Some of them will undoubtedly be well-known people who represent the Patriot Movement. If you are honest, it’s possible that you might even recognize yourself at times! I truly hope that your love for America and what she represents to the world at this critical time will outweigh the temptation to remain half-hearted and self-deluded. America needs you now more than ever! So let’s meet our merry band of 25 Pseudo Patriots now.

1. The Flag Waver

The first in our group are “entry level” patriots. They are grateful to be Americans, yet they often do not have any real understanding of the Constitution, or our nation’s unique history and form of government. They tend to see current issues through the eyes of the media or public opinion. The occasional flag waving is but superficial, and it has little affect on their daily lives. People like this often have an occasional patriotic arousal during certain holidays, special events, or times of crisis. Yet their sentimental responses are usually rather shallow; they are not based on actual knowledge or personal conviction. The Flag Wavers among us therefore come and go; they blow with the wind, and easily revert back to their everyday activities without much lasting change or impact.

2. The Shooting Star

We have all seen people like this guy. The Shooting Star takes off like a flash, with great zeal and enthusiasm. He skyrockets rapidly to the top, to the amazement of others. Yet before long, inevitable problems and distractions occur, and his energy level begins to falter. Like a sprinter who cannot go the distance, he begins to lose steam and focus. His lack of perseverance leads to burnout, and he quickly fades in a blaze of glory. The flash across the sky was quite impressive while it lasted, but is then soon forgotten.

3. The Shortcut Taker

A close cousin to The Shooting Star, our next member habitually looks for quick, easy answers. In order to achieve his goals more quickly, The Shortcut Taker is notorious for oversimplifying, cutting corners, and running roughshod over other people. Instead of thinking ahead or considering the consequences, he is motivated by blind expediency. He feels compelled to get something done, and it must be done right away! The lack of thoughtful planning and disregard for consequences and the opinions of others (who might actually balance him out), usually has a dismal outcome. Once again, the history of the Liberty Movement is full of people who fell into this trap.

4. The Escape Artist

Another close relative to the previous two is The Escape Artist. These would-be patriots also lacks focus, determination and perseverance. Pressure and conflict will bring these weaknesses to the surface before long. When faced with unpleasant situations or tough challenges, they will quickly bail out and run away. They will often rationalize their change in direction, or claim some new and exciting emphasis or project. Underneath all this, however, they are still trying to escape. They cannot be trusted very long, or counted on over the long haul, because they may not be there when you need them.

5. The Scatterbrain

These members of our merry band often make the headlines. Their crazy ideas, plans, and actions abound, distracting us from the central issues. The mainstream media just loves to exploit the silly, outlandish ideas or behavior that emanate from this fringe element of our movement. The rest of us, unfortunately, have to spend a great deal of time distancing ourselves from them and clarifying our true objectives. For some reason, The Scatterbrain has great difficulty prioritizing and maintaining balance or sanity. They get so locked onto some radical idea, or a particular conspiracy theory, that it becomes a real obsession that causes them to do or say unbalanced, crazy things. These Pseudo Patriots are a real liability to our progress, and should be avoided whenever possible.

6. The Thrill Seeker

Just as in the general population, there are those among us who prefer to live on the edge. Always seeking the excitement of something new or different, these Pseudo Patriots move rapidly from one news event or project to another. Lacking in roots and not grasping the bigger picture, they frequently shift their focus and energy. Yet just like most addicts, the thrill is temporary, and must quickly be replaced by another. A little time or a change in weather is all that is needed for The Thrill Seeker to change focus. Like skipping stones, they will soon bounce on to the next controversy or thrill. Once again, it is hard to count on people like this.

7. The Avoider

When push comes to shove, The Avoider will sidestep personal discipline, accountability, and hard work. Even though they may be loud or outspoken, these people by nature tend to be lazy and unmotivated. They often make excuses and shy away from real responsibility. They will also steer away from any discomfort, suffering, or personal sacrifice. You will notice that they tend to disappear in the face of menial tasks and undesirable assignments. Any prospect for hard work or possible discomfort will send them running the other way. While these tendencies may be tolerated in some places, the cause for which we struggle is greatly weakened by people such as this, unless they can be adequately turned around.

8. The Worry Wart

Many would-be patriots are either neutralized or paralyzed by the host of potential problems and scenarios that threaten our American way of life. You can tell that anxiety has a real grip on their lives when you speak to them. They cannot seem to get past all the questions and uncertainties. They are constantly obsessed with the problems facing our nation, and seem incapable of visualizing real solutions or a positive outcome. Captives of uncertainty and fear, The Worry Wart cannot seem to climb out of his own hole, let alone come to our aid in the struggle to restore America.

9. The Fearful Mouse

Our next Pseudo Patriot is a twin to the Worry Wart. Fear is a powerful force that can easily grip the hearts of many aspiring patriots. The Fearful Mouse has been conquered or subjugated already. They are no longer free, but already enslaved. Conviction and courage are not part of their makeup, and as a result their behavior will contagiously affect others in a negative way. As with many other Pseudo Patriots, people with this condition need an internal transformation before they can step in to really help us. We must therefore learn how to retrain and strengthen them. Freedom always starts at a personal level.

10. The Noise Maker

We now turn our attention to some Pseudo Patriots who probably cause more damage than good to our movement. The Noise Maker always arrives mouth first. They are loud, opinionated, and overbearing. They make a lot of noise and seem quite impressive. Their arguments seem convincing, and their persona quite amazing, at least at first glance. They have the latest, greatest idea or plan, and they want you to get on board. At best, they tend to only tolerate other’s ideas, waiting for the moment to insert their own. The desire to impress or influence others drives them more than anything else. Yet all this is rooted in pride and self-promotion. This has a detrimental affect and is useless to the cause of restoring our Constitutional Republic.

11. The Crusader

Some among us are so locked on to one issue that they can’t see anything else. They have all the facts and details, but only about one thing. These people are not only Crusaders for a single cause, but they most often can’t begin to see the larger picture. Helping out in other areas is very difficult for them because they are so laser-focused. Their efforts, however noble, are greatly limited and tend to alienate others with legitimate concerns for other issues. They just keep pushing and fighting for their chosen crusade, even when it has seemingly become a moot point or a lost cause.

12. The Know-It-All

Some people just seem to be cursed with The Know-It-All syndrome. They have all the answers and are experts in everything. Ego reigns supreme with them, and their defenses seem impregnable. By nature, they possess very little humility or teachableness. Just one of these in a group becomes problematic, for they tend to dominate and demean others. Our only hope is to expose people like this, before they cause too much harm or division. The chances for reform, although possible, are usually very slim.

13. The Fault Finder

A sibling to the Know-It-All, this would-be patriot seems compelled to always point out the shortcomings of everyone else. He is simultaneously the supreme critic and judge. His long, bony finger points out all problems, except his own. Unfortunately, this approach alienates others and divides our already weakened movement, playing right into the hand of our foes. These Fault Finders need to challenged or confronted themselves, which is not a pleasant task at all. To do so without becoming one is a tall order, but experienced patriots must learn to do this in order to strengthen our own ranks.

14. The Workaholic

This person has a different sort of predicament. The Workaholic has a basic struggle with maintaininga life balance. They have drifted across the line of being too obsessed or busy, and find it difficult to enjoy life or have fun any longer. While passion and drive are important, when they degenerate this far it becomes a lifeless dead end. Those with these tendencies within the Patriot Movement would do well to step back and make a concentrated effort to maintain more of a balance in their personal lives. Even though our nation is facing crises from multiple directions, we must not allow ourselves to neglect other priorities, or become burned out in the process.

15. The Freeloader

The Freeloader is always just along for the ride, even when they don’t realize it themselves. Whether it’s jumping on the latest bandwagon or following the latest trend, it is ultimately about what is good for them. They will attach themselves to others, or to a particular cause, with the hope of feeling involved, important, or gaining something for themselves. By nature, these people tend to be very needy and self-absorbed, even though on the surface they may seem to share valid concerns about our country. If not recognized and turned around, Freeloaders tend to suck the life and energy out of any project or group.

16. The Hunter

Some within the Patriot Movement go a step further. They seem to be on the prowl. The Hunter also has the ulterior motive of gaining something from others. This could be anything from popularity, power or influence, or to money itself. As with the rest of our society, our movement is not exempt from this parasitical element. Pseudo Patriots who either knowingly or unknowingly prey upon others in order to promote their own agenda are a great detriment to the cause of liberty. While it is not intrinsically wrong to provide news, information, or products to others, it is clear that some have crossed the fine line into self-promotion and profit at the expense of others and our cause in general. Even those with sincere intentions will often succumb to the need for popularity, or the opportunity to exploit others. Within our ranks, this is often witnessed through outlandish claims and marketing efforts, which take advantage of people’s uncertainty, fear, or gullible inclinations. To me, it is despicable to think that with our nation in such deep trouble, some among us would only see opportunities to benefit or profit from others.

17. The Tough Guy

The comfort zone of some patriots is to maintain a hard, macho exterior. More often demonstrated by men, this external show of confidence (or force) is usually accompanied by chest beating and pissing contests. This outward show is all about establishing turf or credibility. With some, like military veterans, law enforcement personnel, or militia members, this approach often leads to premature and short-sighted actions, which are counter productive to our cause. The Tough Guy’s lack of wisdom, balance, and thorough planning often leads to internal division, bad press, and marginalization.

18. The Bull in the China Shop

When a Tough Guy also has no people skills, tactfulness, or self-restraint, he can easily turn into a Bull in the China Shop. With wild-eyed disregard, this loose cannon will uproot or destroy everything in his path. At the beginning, it may seem like boldness, but the lasting fruit is confusion and chaos. Offending or hurting others is commonplace, but of no concern to them. The same is true for the aftermath they create, as long as they made their point, or had their five minutes of fame. Whenever possible, these people should also be avoided.

19. The “Truth” Peddler

Some Pseudo Patriots appear to be on the cutting edge of revealing some mystery, esoteric knowledge, or novel interpretation. They prey upon those who are naive or ignorant. Their mission is to convince others of some special knowledge, idea, or plan. They go to great lengths to do this, and often uncover “insider information,” weird ideas, and new “conspiracy theories.” Their crusade is to convert others to their opinions, and it shows in everything they do. Truth” Peddlers are like salesmen, and their behavior can be detected by certain patterns. Unfortunately, like others in our merry band, they usually cannot see their own weaknesses or blind spots, and they do a lot of harm to our movement.

20. The Status Seeker

Some would-be patriots become less than effective because of a latent desire for recognition. Whether caused by insecurity, or an inner drive to become significant, The Status Seeker will try to gain a position or influence over others, even if it is only one or two people, or a small group. This may feed their ego, but it is hollow and accomplishes little for the cause of liberty. People with this tendency need to reevaluate their true motives, and abandon their self-seeking ways so they can contribute selflessly to the greater cause of restoring America.

21. The Untouchable

In this last section, we examine those who would be leaders among us. The success of our movement requires winning both the minds and hearts of the people. Breaking down walls and building unity requires a tremendous amount of personal interaction and trust, yet The Untouchable will attempt to do this without really connecting with people on a personal level. They prefer to be separate from everyone else. They seem to thrive when they are unapproachable and feel like they are superior to others. Igniting a widespread, grassroots movement requires not only the correct information or strategy, but more importantly includes challenging and inspiring people. There is no need for leaders with a haughty, distant mentality.

22. The Self-Absorbed Fool

Possessing many of the qualities of other Pseudo Patriots, The Self-Absorbed Fool takes things to a whole new level. He or she is so wrapped up with themselves that they cannot see the damage they are causing. Good intentions or plans aside, these people are internally driven by their own needs and desires—what makes them feel good or important. You can hear it in their speech, and see it in their actions. Everything begins and ends with them. Once again, this behavior is counter-productive and detrimental to our cause. As with all of our misguided leaders, these people need to be exposed and retrained.

23. The False Prophet

As we make our descent through the list of bad leadership styles, The False Prophet wreaks havoc wherever they appear. By twisting or reinterpreting the facts, they distort the truth and lead others astray. However slick and believable, these messages greatly weaken the Patriot Movement. Our cause experiences a real setback each time one of their outlandish claims or predictions does not come true. In a very real way, we also lose the energy and efforts of every patriot who is led down the wrong path by their deceitful errors.

24. The Great Divider

Those who cause division within our ranks are many. Whether it is because of giant egos, inflexibility, or a lack of personal restraint, these Great Dividers are a constant nuisance and threat to our success. As with other failed leadership styles, what causes people to become divisive is somewhat mystifying. Yet whether intentional or not, a person who causes division is guilty of a serious offense—one that tears apart the very fabric or core of any group. This has become so commonplace within the Liberty Movement that it truly threatens our ability to turn the tide in restoring our nation. Our opponents will seize every opportunity to exploit our weaknesses and failures. Further fragmentation or division is the surest path to defeat and greater tyranny.

25. The Deceiver

Last on the list is The Deceiver. Descending beyond even The False Prophet or The Great Divider, this most detestable Pseudo Patriot knowingly or deliberately seeks to deceive others. Believing in lies themselves, these people have no problem passing falsehood on to others. Yet once this can of worms is opened, there is no turning back. The deception only leads to further lies and blindness. It is obvious that way more than half of our nation has already been deeply infected by massive deception, yet if we are to survive and rise to the challenge of restoring America, we must root out the deceivers among us with truth and zero tolerance.

In Conclusion

The tendencies of these Pseudo Patriots are presented here, not merely to criticize others, but rather to help guide the Patriot Movement through a process of self-evaluation and adjustment. These conclusions are much easier to detect and write about than to actually correct, because the patterns and behavior are so natural and widespread. May God help us all!

If We the People are ever going to rise up, unite, and turn the tide against the ever-increasing tyranny and looming national disasters here in America, we must first take a long hard look at ourselves and our own movement. An honest examination of the characteristics of these Pseudo Patriots is an important step in a self-cleansing or healing process that will strengthen both our character and our message. If we do not learn how to regulate and control ourselves, we will most assuredly and ultimately be regulated by others—and we will deserve it!

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