A foolish question? In the world of today’s politics, probably not. There are times when the patriotism of some of our legislators is questionable. Then, one must ask why would a legislator not be a patriot? Possibly because of a lack of understanding of our founding principles as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Let’s define the word “patriot.” The Oxford English Dictionary says a patriot is: “A person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.”

The origin of the word is said to go back to the 16th century coming from the French “patriote,” from the Latin patriota “fellow countryman,” from Greek “patriotes,” from patrios “of one’s fathers,” from patris “fatherland.”

In Daniel Hannan’s latest book, “Inventing Freedom,” he defines a patriot as someone “with a pronounced devotion to liberty and property; someone who stood for the interests of the nation as a whole, rather than those of its supposedly effete ruling class.” In the context of current politics, that definition strikes a chord.

At the state level, we began to lose our liberty when our governor, and other confused political leaders, accepted the Affordable Care Act (federally controlled health care) and the Common Core State Standards Initiative (federally controlled education standards) as required by our addled leaders in Foggy Bottom and elsewhere.

At the national level, we began losing our liberty during the Wilson administration when the progressive income tax amendment was passed in 1913. Since that time, federal spending has known no limits. And those who would limit government entitlement spending are excoriated as being callous. Entitlements have expanded to the point of being farcical. They, alone, are the cause of our fiscal and monetary circumstances which ignore the essential fundamentals of economics. With unlimited taxing authority, the principles of liberty and the details of basic economics are lost in a cloud of rhetorical legislative obfuscation.

The effete ruling class is working tirelessly to alter our Constitution. A ruling class which refuses to acknowledge the wisdom of our founding principles. A ruling class which refuses to accept liberty as the perfect law and that most basic fundamental of economics, i.e., expenses must not exceed income.

As a patriot, you can accept only one form of government, that of liberty and all of the blessings it bestows upon you. Anything else tests the definition of self-punishment.

• Don Kennedy is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a degree in sociology. He has been a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2002.

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