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Wes Moore Tells Washington Post: He Won’t Get “Lectured by Republicans on Patriotism”

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In a new column, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart highlighted how patriotism is at the core of Democratic gubernatorial nominee and combat veteran Wes Moore’s campaign to be the next governor of Maryland.

Moore told the Washington Post Editorial Board: We have to take back this mantra of patriotism. I am absolutely exhausted by the idea of getting lectured by Republicans on patriotism.”

“My definition of patriotism was leaving my family and putting on the uniform of this country and defending her with paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan, and I’m literally running against somebody whose definition of patriotism was putting on a baseball cap and asking people to join him on January 6,” continued Moore.

In contrast, GOP nominee and insurrection-promoter Dan Cox — who is set to travel to Mar-a-Lago soon — has ramped up his MAGA extremism by refusing to say he’ll accept the results of the election in November, filing motions to try to make it harder to count votes, and embracing dangerous conspiracy theories like Q-Anon

Read key excerpts from the column below.

Washington Post: Opinion | Republicans don’t own ‘patriotism’

Democrats are standing firmly on their values and beliefs to set glass-house Republicans straight. And, as the kids these days say, I’m here for it. Rather than cede the flag and love of country or shrink from the so-called culture wars, Democrats rhetorically are punching back forcefully and unapologetically.

“Patriotism” is the word reclaimed by Wes Moore, the Democratic candidate for Maryland governor. He did it during a recent meeting with The Post’s Editorial Board at which he plotted the future of the Democratic Party.

“We have to take back this mantra of patriotism. I am absolutely exhausted by the idea of getting lectured by Republicans on patriotism,” said Moore, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. “My definition of patriotism was leaving my family and putting on the uniform of this country and defending her with paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan, and I’m literally running against somebody whose definition of patriotism was putting on a baseball cap and asking people to join him on January 6.”

Moore’s opponent is Maryland House of Delegates member Daniel L. Cox. Not only did the far-right Republican charter buses to take him and supporters of President Donald Trump to Washington that awful day, but he also tweeted during the violent insurrection that “Pence is a traitor.” Nothing says patriotism like aligning with the crowd wanting to hang the vice president because he wouldn’t go along with an unconstitutional effort to overturn a free and fair election.

[…]

Wes Moore’s South Carolina-born grandfather, the Rev. Dr. James Thomas, was one of them. Thomas was 6 years old when his Jamaican immigrant parents fled back to the island to escape the Ku Klux Klan. Moore said his great-grandfather pledged never to return to the United States. But Moore’s grandfather eventually did come back. “My grandfather in all of his humility said this country would be incomplete” without him, Moore recounted.

How essentially American. That’s why Moore won’t cede “patriotism” to Republicans. The GOP will probably try to snatch it back, but Democrats shouldn’t let them. Instead, they ought to follow their colleagues’ examples and keep getting bolder in defending their values, defining what it really means to be American and standing up for all the people striving to make the country complete.

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