The Patriot
(Mike Allen)

What makes one a patriot in the modern day? The term, once used almost exclusively to describe people involved in the Revolutionary War, has in recent years been thrown around at just about anything in the United States, and especially in the political realm.

Apparently it can also be a nickname for politicians themselves, or at least that is what was attempted to be argued this past week in a hearing before the Oklahoma State Election Board. The issue involved Sean Roberts, a candidate for the commissioner of labor, having his alleged nickname “The Patriot” as a part of his name on the ballot. The ensuing hearing, and his arguments as to why he has the nickname, were humorous, to say the least. In fact, the entire issue is silly, but such is the reality we’re living in currently. If only “Freedom Fries” had been introduced as evidence.

I want to know how far Roberts could have taken it, however. He could have shown up to the hearing in full colonial-era garb; breeches, tricorn hat, and a musket. Now that’s a patriot! As it happened, the whole affair ended in a fairly ho-hum fashion, and the board voted to have the nickname stricken from the ballot. Perhaps “Taps” is in order.

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