Patriotism! What is It Good For?
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Politics and Activism

Patriotism! What is It Good For?

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Patriotism! What is It Good For?

What is patriotism? Before writing, a little bit of research revealed a popular opinion that seems to be shared on the web, best explained by President Obama in 2008 –

"Precisely because our ideals constantly demand more from us, patriotism can never be defined as loyalty to any particular leader or government or policy," Obama stated. "When our laws, our leaders or our government are out of alignment with our ideals, then the dissent of ordinary Americans may prove to be one of the truest expression of patriotism."

Essentially, true American patriotism is that same rugged idealism that was shared by our founding fathers: If you do something I don’t like, I’m going to make your life miserable. If your elected official makes a move that you are unhappy with, we, as Americans, have every right and obligation to stand up and do something about it. What an excellent and advanced country! To have such a high level of democracy’s fundamental foundations so tightly intertwined with our society, we must be living in a perfect country, free of judgment and prejudice. When someone has a problem with something, we do not shut them, nay, we raise them up as the people’s champion and fully support their given right to demand change.



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Where did our so called "American" belief system go? Not even that, where has it been for the past 200 years? Has it ever been there? Is everything we know about George Washington a lie? At what point did we as a nation develop this two faced lie? A lie that states, being a true American patriot means to challenge the status quo and to fight against oppression and at the same time says "shut up, everything is fine so stop complaining."

This article isn’t about a solution because truthfully I have none to offer. I want our country to be the pinnacle of free thought and to be encouraging of those who attempt to break the mold. But there is nothing more annoying to me when I hear songs that tell you to "break free" when the artist doesn’t mean it, I don’t want to see movies that glorify the underdog in a one-sided fictional society but downplay the struggles of actual suffering people.

Most importantly, I believe we need to change the conversation. As long as officials speak about how one group or another does not have it that bad, our narrative will stay locked in place. Until then, treat every new reference of American "patriotism" as a naive belief that holds little ground.

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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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