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What Is A
Paper Patriot?

A Play On Words...

The term "Paper Patriot" was conceived while contemplating a rather ironic parallel. Originally a colloquial phrase in Mandarin Chinese, the term "paper tiger" has become an international trope. Paper tigers are people who like to talk tough and get their way by making a lot of noise, hoping to intimidate an opponent in the same way that a haphazard camper starts shrieking at the top of his lungs, to scare away a bear that has ventured too close.  

On the same vein, paper patriots tend to declaim the state of their nation in conversation, and raise their voices as high as all-caps can take them on social media, proclaiming the need to take their country back. Many of them sound informed. They may even sound intimidating. But at the end of the day, they have far more bark than bite. They don't know how to make a difference.

The tragic thing is, they would make a difference

if they only knew how.

My goal is to help paper patriots grow into tigers with teeth. There are red-blooded Americans whose desire to make a difference is real – and it burns hot; but without skills or direction, that passion just burns them out. This is where I have existed for the last 5 years, and I have had enough! I want to build a society that helps each other make and sustain change. It's time to start focusing on what we as individuals actually have the power to change and growing from there. This may take the form of anything, from influencing the wording of a state bill to changing a neighbor's perspective. 

The aims of this society will be to guide passionate men and women through the process of: 

  1. Acquiring useful knowledge in the domains of culture, politics and law,  

  2. Training them to use that knowledge productively,  

  3. Helping them build a community of useful and motivated individuals,

  4. And creating a plan for how to weave this wisdom into the fabric of their lives.  

Those are the four pillars of the Paper Patriot Society:

Knowledge, Training, People, and Plans.

I hope to build on these principles and form an effective network of people and resources that can help a patriotic paper tiger grow into someone with more bite than bark and who, hopefully, is capable of handing down to their children a country worth being proud of. 

So, why the focus on "Paper Patriots"?

It may seem counter-intuitive to name a society after the thing you want to avoid being. After all, something more akin to a modern Minute Man - or Woman - probably seems more appropriate, considering our goals. The name is used intentionally, nevertheless. While one can certainly grow to acquire the right skills and mindset to change him or her into a truly useful person, the underlying issues that led to their previously powerless state do not simply disappear once they start thinking and acting like a real patriot. 

This is a reality that few understand better than those who have benefited from the incredible guidance of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). You may have heard a phrase frequently associated with AA, "Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic." This expression reflects the belief central to AA's approach, that alcoholism is a chronic, lifelong condition. According to this viewpoint, even if an alcoholic has stopped drinking and maintains sobriety, they remain an alcoholic because the risk of relapse is always present.


We have to be clear-eyed in recognizing that being a paper patriot isn't just a temporary state or label to be pejoratively ascribed to "other" people who are too weak or cowardly to take a stand and defend their country. We can not remain in a pattern of fruitless action where we post, re-post, and respond to posts on social media almost as much for the likes and fleeting high of self-righteous indignation as we do for the good of the world we want to live in. We must acquire the skills and bravery necessary to build a nation; and we must remain active and vigilant in maintaining it!

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