This letter was published in The Record, 10/4/2017

I wonder if the people making such a big deal over some players in the NFL not standing for the national anthem realize we didn’t even have an “anthem” until the 1930’s and the tune to which it’s played isn't even American, but the tune of an old English drinking song. The same could be said about the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, which wasn’t written until the 1890s and by a self-avowed Socialist named Walter Bellamy at that.

Our republic survived without an anthem or pledge for well over a century. What happened is that people abandoned true patriotism (defending the Constitution and The Bill of Rights) and embraced nationalism, instead. One should not be confused with the other. One upholds individual liberty; the other is a form of state worship. In The Record editorial of Sept. 26, the writer states, “The First Amendment is not negotiable," to which I heartily concur.

Sadly, The Record doesn’t uphold that same commitment to individual rights when it comes to the Second Amendment, as past editorials have shown. This is why we Libertarians say that “all rights, of all people, matter all of the time.”

Mark Richards
West Milford