Memorial Day

Hi Mike – The new movie looks great, and I’ve got five tickets on hold for July 4th. But I’m curious about something you wrote in your last post. You’ve said that “Something to Stand For” isn’t a political movie, “merely a patriotic one.” What does that mean, exactly? How can you make a case for the importance patriotism today without getting political?
Mia Murphy

Hi Mia
That’s a fair question, and Memorial Day seems like a fine occasion to give you an honest answer. In short, I meant what I said: There is nothing political about a film that celebrates the principles on which this country was formed. Nor is there anything political about celebrating the people who have defended those principles over the centuries – especially those who died doing so. Unless of course, you’ve been taught that our country is fundamentally flawed, systemically racist, incurably intolerant, and beyond redemption.

Those people exist, and I’m afraid their numbers are growing. But they are not defined by a political party – they are defined by their contempt of America. And while those people are more than welcome to come and see the film, I didn’t make it for them; I made it because of them. I made it, because there’s a big difference between political rivals who want to improve this country because they love it, and those who wish to transform it because they hate it.

The polls are everywhere, and they all tell us the same thing – American patriotism is in a steep decline. According to Gallup, 70% of all Americans described themselves as “extremely patriotic” 25 years ago. Today, it’s 38%. As for young adults – it’s just 18%.

Douglass Murray recently said, “A country has to work really, really hard to convince its own people to despise it.” Judging from the state of education in America, it appears we’re determined to do that very thing. And if this film examined the many ways we’ve accomplished that, it would indeed be a polemic. But that’s what this movie does.

“Something to Stand For” is a series of loosely connected stories about a few extraordinary Americans, told in the style of the late, great Paul Harvey. It’s primary purpose is to entertain. I seriously doubt that it will convert anyone from one political party to the other, or persuade those who wish to fundamentally transform our country to reconsider their disdain for America. But it might make a lot of Americans who share my concern about the collapse of patriotism feel better about the country we call home, and the people who paid the ultimate price defending it.

In other words, Happy Memorial Day. Hope to see you on Independence Day, in a theater near you.
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