Thank you to @liberty.central for submitting their article on the topic of patriotism. While it is generally view as a positive thing in the U.S (and in other countries), is it possible for patriotism to take a negative turn? Read on for more thoughts…
Dictionary.com defines patriotism as “devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.” Mirriam-Webster defines it as “love for or devotion to one’s country” and uses the sentence “They supported the war with a fierce patriotism” as an example of patriotism.
For many, patriotism is a part of their daily lives. You might wake up in the morning and leave for work or school with an American Flag flying outside of your house, you might say the Pledge of Allegiance in the mornings. When you go to sporting events you always hear (and probably sing along to) the National Anthem of America being sung.
The real question is: “What’s wrong with patriotism?” As we can see from the definitions above, patriotism is described as a “fierce” love for one’s country, and “devotion and support” for one’s country. On the surface, this doesn’t really seem like much of a problem, but as we dig a little deeper into the politics and governments of today, we find an almost obvious truth.
In order to see the harm in patriotism, we must first recognize a fundamental truth of politics and government. Politics and government revolve around lies. The unfortunate truth is that politicians aren’t concerned with the best interest of the people, but are concerned with maintaining power, and forwarding their agendas. This truth is ever so evident in the always-heated issue of gun control. Whenever a shooting occurs in the United States (and elsewhere) politicians that oppose guns use these events as fuel to support increased controls on firearms. Politicians aren’t concerned with providing citizens with the best solutions to problems, they are concerned with implementing things they themselves want implemented, whether it is beneficial to the greater good or not. This can also be seen in government actions following 9/11. This tragic event was used by President George W. Bush to implement the Patriot Act, which instituted NSA spying on Americans across the country. (Though the reality is, it was probably going on before this Act, it just become legal with the Patriot Act’s passing.) It was also used by GWB to give him the legal power to declare war on, and attack anyone who harbored anyone who the government claimed to have participated in those acts of terrorism against America.
What I’m trying to get at on this lengthy tangent, is that government is inherently deceitful and dishonest, they use people and tragedies as ammo in their political arsenals, despite Barack Obama claiming his administration to be “The most transparent administration in history.” Patriotism is an almost blind love and support of one’s country, and that’s the most dangerous part. Americans today don’t make decisions based off of research and self-acquired knowledge. People vote and create opinions based off of looks, personality, popularity, and from generally unreliable mainstream media sources. Media sources that aren’t concerned with reporting real news, but with getting the best ratings.
When people fall victim to such a dangerous way of making decisions, they become robots, believing whatever is put right in front of them. Most Americans aren’t aware the Obama Administration is drone-striking innocent civilians in the Middle East, and only 5% of Americans know about Building 7, the 3rd building in New York on 9/11 that went down without any major impacts like the ones that hit the Twin Towers. A government that would lie to and deceive us like that is surely not a good one, and when people blindly support the actions of such an entity, without knowing what many of those actions are in the first place, it only allows that entity to continue its actions, just or unjust, without having to worry about being subject to judgment, investigation, or questioning. And even when people do try to hold the government accountable for its actions they’re often labeled as “Conspiracy theorists” or “anti-American” which only serves to drive people away from trying to hold the government accountable for its less public actions.
What I would like readers to take away from this article is simple. Blind patriotism is dangerous. When powerful entities go unchecked people are taken advantage of, others are harmed, and power is abused. Think for yourself, don’t blindly support anything just because you’re told to, or that it’s cool, or it’s the popular thing to do. Do your own research. Go on the internet and find facts, read articles (like this one) but don’t take one piece of writing for the truth (including this one). Check your facts, cross reference etc. It’s one of the best favors you can do for yourself, and everyone around you.
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