Sunshine Patriotism

on . Posted in Articles by Brent Johnson

by Brent Johnson

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated."

Thomas Paine

What is meant by the term "sunshine patriot"?

It is a term coined by Founding Father Thomas Paine, regarded by most people well-researched in American history as the true father of our country. Thomas Paine was speaking of the so-called "patriot" who, when called upon to take direct and definitive action, prefers to retreat and maintain the status quo, rather than risk his own life, liberty, or property.

Patriotism means dedication to the principles on which your country was established. An American Patriot is devoted to the concept of limited government existing to protect the free exercise of the unalienable rights of the people. A true Patriot will risk anything... everything... to resist government (or any other) efforts to subjugate him and reduce him to nothing more than a servant. Patriotism requires a willingness to lose everything you claim to hold dear, if necessary, in order to protect your most precious gift of freedom. The true Patriot does not flinch when called upon to resist government controls, regardless of any inconvenience which may result from his doing so.

Today, America is enjoying a resurgence of patriotism such as has not been seen since the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. More and more people are speaking about the principles of freedom and limited government which rest at the foundation of our great country. Radio talk shows, television news, newspapers and magazines, are filled with callers, editorials, articles, etc. discussing our heritage of individual liberty and self-determination. One can hardly turn on the car radio without tuning in to a talk show discussing government excesses.

Yet along with a growing patriot movement, we are also experiencing growth in sunshine patriotism, which I define as the act of saying all of the proper things, but not doing what you say. There are multitudes of people who are all too willing to get on a soapbox and declare to all who will listen, that our freedoms are in danger and the government has gotten out of control. But these same people, when called to act on behalf of liberty and patriotism, shy away, generally giving excuses like, "I have too much to lose" or " They will take my property (or children or job or whatever)" or "They will put me in jail" or "I have a family to support" or any number of practical reasons for not getting directly involved. What these poor, miserable souls fail to realize is that there is no security without individual liberty; that to allow, by your silence, atrocities to be perpetrated against the American people, even one single American, is to commit an act of treachery against your country that parallels the worst that the British (or today's United Nations) could ever do to us.

It would be nice if each of us could simply live our respective lives in peace and harmony. However, this cannot ever be as long as there are those who wish to control the behavior of all people everywhere. As long as there are people who will usurp authority in order to exert control over the American people, there will always be a need for patriots to defend our founding principles.

Perhaps it is a statement about human nature, that human beings are some kind of herd animal, looking for ways to "go along with the crowd", so to speak. People like to live near other people (have you ever noticed how on long stretches of rural roads, houses are clumped together in relatively small areas, while large tracts of land remain uninhabited?). They look for approval from others. This is herd mentality and it runs contrary to the holy principles of individualism on which our country was founded.

It is fair that each of us attempt to understand the programming which has been inflicted on the American people, designed to stifle the creative spirit, non-cooperation, and individualism. It is reasonable that we each approach our fellow Americans with sensitivity and compassion, because we have all been exposed to extreme manipulation of the general populace by government and socialist advocates.

However, it is critical that while we sympathize with our fellow Americans, we simultaneously challenge these same people to step up and move beyond their specific fears, and stand true to the founding principles of the united States of America. Only by encouraging those who are stuck in the herd mentality to break their pattern of mindless obedience, will we ever succeed in raising a force of true Patriots sufficient to resist government encroachment and restore a healthy respect for individual rights, limited government, and the Rule of Law.

I have lost count of the number of times when someone has said to me something like, "I am having trouble opening a bank account without a SSN," or "My employer doesn't want to stop withholding," or "It's too difficult to live outside of the system." It deeply troubles me that so many people find it so easy to accept and live with the heinous violations of natural rights that the United States and State governments perpetrate daily on the people they are sworn to protect.

Can't you see that if you do not stand now in defense of liberty, you will be forced to kneel later when the government declares itself to be your master, your lord, your god? Don't you realize that the time of peace that you have experience for so long is over! There is no peace as long as government officials violate the freedoms of the people.

"Gentlemen may cry, 'Peace! Peace!' But there can be no peace. The war has already begun. Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Patrick Henry

Our Founding Fathers fought and died to establish a place where the people would rule and all levels of government would be their servants. They were reviled and hunted down for their acts of treason against the King. They did it all for generations of people who they would never know. Can you imagine that? These people fought and died, many losing their families, some never seeing their own children or wives again, so that people they knew they would never know, would have a chance to live in their own country, and that a free country. What a remarkable group of Patriots. What a great example for our people.

Would you do as our Founding Fathers did? Would you risk everything, including the safety of your children, so that people you will never meet might have the chance of living in a free country?

Many sunshine patriots complain that the American Revolution took place during "simpler times." These people suggest that in modern times, resistance is ineffective or even worse, impossible. These people cry out the plaint of the victim, "I'm only one person. What can I possibly do?"

On July 4, 1776, the Third Continental Congress met to determine whether or not to sign the proposed Declaration of Independence. The tenor of the meeting was clearly against signing. Most of the delegates, including president John Hancock, were opposed to the very concept of rebellion against the King. But for one delegate, the gentleman from Massachusetts, John Adams, the fate of the world would have been different. We would still be British subjects today.

"Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there's a Divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice of England has driven us to arms; and, blinded to her own interest for our good, she had obstinately persisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We have but to reach forth to it, and it is ours.

"Why, then, should we defer the Declaration? Is any man so weak as now to hope for a reconciliation with England?

"You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to the time when this Declaration shall be made good. We may die; die Colonists; die slaves; die, it may be, ignominiously and on the scaffold.

"Be it so. Be it so.

"If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, then the victim shall be ready... But while I do live, let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free country.

"But whatever may be our fate, be assured... that this Declaration will stand. It may cost treasure and it may cost blood; but it will stand, and it will richly compensate for both.

"Through the thick gloom of the present, I see the brightness of the future, as the sun in heaven. We shall make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our graves, our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires, and illuminations. On its annual return they will shed tears, copious, gushing tears, not of subjection and slavery, not of agony and distress, but of exultation, of gratitude and of joy.

"Sir, before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and Independence forever."

John Adams, July 4, 1776

So please refrain from saying, "I am only one person. What can I do?" One person can change the world.

The only question you need to ask yourself is, "Am I willing to make a stand for my country?" Then do it. Whatever it takes. Even if you lose everything you have ever called dear. Even if you lose your family. We need each and every one of you to stand up and pledge your lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to preserve the timeless principles of truth, justice, freedom, individual rights and self-determination on which our country exists.

Do something new today. Come and join the ranks of the true Patriots, those who will, when called upon to do so, lay down their very lives so that other may live truly free. We need you. Your country needs you. The American People and free world need you. Will you answer the call?


Eulogy for an Angel
1992-Dec. 20, 2005


Freedom sm

My Father

brents dad

Dr. Stan Dale

stan dale

A. Solzhenitsyn


Patrick McGoohan


Joseph A. Stack

Bill Walsh

Walter Cronkite

Eustace Mullins

Paul Harvey

Don Harkins

Joan Veon

David Nolan

Derry Brownfield

Leroy Schweitzer

Vaclav Havel

Andrew Breitbart

Dick Clark

Bob Chapman

Ray Bradbury

Tommy Cryer

Andy Griffith

Phyllis Diller

Larry Dever

Brian J. Chapman

Annette Funnicello

Margaret Thatcher

Richie Havens

Jack McLamb

James Traficant

jim traficant

Dr. Stan Monteith

stan montieth

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Stan Solomon

Stan Solomon

B. B. King

BB King

Irwin Schiff

Irwin Schiff


David Bowie

Muhammad Ali

Muhammed Ali


gene wilder

phyllis schlafly

phylis schafly

John Glenn

John Glenn

Charles Weisman

Charles Weisman

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds

Roger Moore

Roger Moore

Adam West

Adam West


jerry lewis


Hugh Hefner


Hugh Hefner 


Art Bell


dwight clark


Carl Miller


Harlan Ellison


stan lee