How patriotic are you?

Dennis Warden

couple of weeks ago I was cooking some hamburgers on our George Foreman grill for dinner when the phone rang.

To stop unwanted solicitors I broke down a couple of years ago and paid the phone company to add caller ID on our line — something I highly recommend. We use it to screen calls at home. At the newspaper we answer all incoming calls. 

About once a week we get a call at the newspaper wanting me to invest in oil wells. I politely explain to them that the only business I invest in is my own. Then I hang up.

Anyway, when the phone rang that evening I didn’t recognize the number from Pennsylvania. Don’t ask me why but I answered it.

The nice lady on the other end assured me she was not going to try and sell me anything, she represented a “reputable” polling company and wanted to just ask me a few questions. 

She assured me it wouldn’t take long.

Twenty-six minutes later Connie and I finished dinner, and the phone conversation at the same time.

To tell you the truth the call would have probably taken less than 20 minutes, but I kept bantering back and forth with the caller.

I set the phone down on the counter and put it on speaker phone. I was interested in what type of questions she was going to ask, and since it wouldn’t take long I could finish fixing dinner at the same time. No problem.

Many of the questions she asked I was expecting: 

• What did I think of the economy? 

• What did I think about Trump’s visit with Kim Jon-un in Singapore? 

• Did I vote in the last election? 

• Was I a registered Democrat or Republican?

• What was my level of education?

• There were a couple questions on abortion and on the rights of homosexuals.

The last time I received a call from a pollster they asked If I worked in the media. When I said yes it ended the conversation. She never asked me that.

About half way through Connie came into the kitchen and we sat down to eat dinner, all while the questions kept coming.

Every few minutes she would say “we’re almost done” and then she would ask me a question that was totally unexpected.

• Would I rather have ice cream, pie or pie and ice cream? That was a no brainer — pie and ice cream.

• Who would I rather have lunch with, Hillary Clinton, President Trump or Oprah?

• She also asked if we were planning to take a vacation this year.

• Was I a sports fan and on a scale of one to 10 how much of a fan. Many questions I had to answer on a scale of one to 10.

I think those odd questions were just to break it up and make me feel more comfortable.

A few of the questions centered around how patriotic I considered myself. 

Was I patriotic?

Was I very patriotic, somewhat patriotic, a little patriotic or not at all? Those questions got me thinking about just how patriotic am I.

One question was — “Did I fly the American flag?” I had to answer no. I then asked myself why? Now I have a flag to fly on my home during holidays.

I asked her if it counted that I am the caretaker of a large flag for our community, doing that job now for over 12 years.

Being an Eagle Scout and raising two Eagle Scouts, the Boy Scouts helped me teach my two sons to be patriotic. When the stars and stripes are raised, and when the star spangled banner is sung or played at a sporting event it has always been my honor to place my hand over my heart, or salute the flag when I wore the scout uniform.

As a scout we often participated in flag retirements with the VFW. A serious and solemn ceremony.

During this fourth of July, the 242nd birthday of the United States, we need to understand that as Americans we live in the greatest country in the world.

On a scale of one to 10 how patriotic am I — a nine. 

How patriotic are you?

If you want to meet some patriots that I would rate a 10 then see our salute to soldiers and sailors on pages 10 and 11 in today’s Republican.


“When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’” — Donald Trump