I take exception with part of your editorial "what is patriotism". Using your Webster's Dictionary definition, a patriot is "A person who loves and supports his own country", meaning that a person who militantly disagrees with their government is not a patriot as you stated but should be considered a rebel. As also defined by Webster, a rebel is one who disagrees or resist authority. The south, who disagreed with the Federal Government in the mid-1800's, was not being patriotic as you would suggest, but it's citizens were considered rebels for rebelling against Federal authority. Militants in Afghanistan, Iraq or Israel are not patriots, they also are rebels. People in the United States who today, and I'm using your words "loudly oppose rules and policies they feel threaten the freedoms that define us as Americans" are not patriots as you suggest.
They are rebelling against current government authority and policies and are to be considered rebels not patriots! Billy Roy