Re: “Why the mob thought attacking the Capitol was its ‘1776 moment’ ” and “Our democracy demands an investment in civic education” [Jan. 25, Opinion]:

Franita Tolson and Alan D. Solomont’s guest commentaries could not have been more spot on. There is something about a person calling themselves a “patriot” who has not a clue as to what the term truly means. It takes an understanding of the happenings of 1776, which requires an understanding of history, which also then requires an understanding of civics.

Our Founding Fathers would blanch at those who feel being a patriot means to tear down everything they fought for and against. The government they set up is a testament to the fact they did not want a king (or a cult) but that they were also forward thinking, looking far into the future, allowing that change could and should happen.

Our democracy is fragile, but it has endured. Our democracy is often messy, but it is about “We, the People.” The latter has evolved over time to become more inclusive, not less, as our Founding Fathers intended.

A patriot puts country first, then “the people.” Democracy matters. So-called patriots are in fact loyalists, where fealty to an individual comes first, party (or cult) second and country last.

Cathy Aldrich, Shoreline