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Politics and Activism

Patriotism Is More Than Putting The American Flag On Everything

Because honestly, people in other countries don't wear their flags like we do - and they still love where they live.

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Patriotism Is More Than Putting The American Flag On Everything

Patriotism is "the feeling of loving your country more than any others and being proud of it," according to the Cambridge dictionary. Nowhere in that definition does it mention painting flags on vehicles or wearing them on our clothes is a requirement. It's not even recommended. Yet somewhere along the way, America got in its head that if you don't wear flags on your clothing at least 24 times a year, you must be committing treason or a terrorist or something.

Now I am obviously exaggerating! However, there are so many other ways to be patriotic, and it is time for 'Merica to understand that.

In order to love your country more than any others and be proud of it- AKA being patriotic- help make your country a place you should be proud of. Support things that not only benefit yourself but your children (or children in general if you don't have any of your own).

Maybe this means voting for higher taxes on yourself to improve the quality of life for others. Higher income taxes actually benefit the upper class because of write-offs, while higher sales taxes benefit the middle and lower classes. Why? Rich people buy more stuff and can't write it all off.

I know, I know, I know. This country was founded on the hatred of taxes. "Taxes are stealing." The whole bit. But taxes are a required part of life, so start thinking about how to best use them.

Universal healthcare is paid for through tax dollars. I get it- "that's socialist and we aren't a socialist country" or whatever your argument is, but hear me out... We are supposedly guaranteed the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... People cannot choose if they will be healthy or not. Not having universal healthcare means not everyone is insured and can go to the doctor, which means as a country we are telling people who cannot afford those things that their lives are somehow worth less... Is that not a denial of the unalienable rights we bragged about at our country's founding?

Oh, sorry, was that off topic? In order to have patriotism, we have to have something to be proud of... If we have a country full of sick people who can't get better, should we really be proud of that?

Should we really be proud of a country who seeks to destroy our environment for finite resources instead of looking to renewable energy sources to create cleaner power- and more jobs? Should we be proud of a country that thinks of diplomacy like a business? Should we be proud of a country where diversity is avoided, and we judge those different than ourselves despite claiming to be a melting pot?

Guess what? I'm not proud. I'm tired of living in a country that claims to be the best when it is only really number one at defense spending, arms exports, natural gas output, number of people incarcerated per capita, number of fast food restaurants, number of mass shootings per year, and highest medical costs.

I'm proud of those who have fought for our freedoms, be it at war or for civil rights at home, but I am not proud of what we've done with it all. I couldn't care less about how great our country was or can be. What I care about is living in a place where we take care of one another and want everyone to succeed, not just a handful of individuals at the expense of others. Life isn't a race- someone else's success or failure should not determine if you get the health care you need.

Paint your flags all over and ignore this if you like. Call me unpatriotic- I can handle it. If the state of America right now does not bother you, go on with your inaction. But patriotism has less to do with wearing flag bathing suits, and far more to do with being a contributing member of a society that does not stand for injustices. And right now, America, there are a lot of injustices.

I am patriotic; I am proud of the accomplishments in our past. But unless we start making advances and investments in a country and society that deserves pride... I'm ashamed to think of what is to come.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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