Friday, July 04, 2008

Who's Patriotic?


My Patriots

Patriotism has been a big part of the U.S. consciousness over the last number of years. Flags flying everywhere, necessary flag pins, questioners called treasonous and aiding the enemy. No doubt it will be a big part of the next election too. Since it is afforded such high value maybe we ought to talk about what Patriotism is and how we relate to the concept. I think the right and the left see it as two distinctly different things. As I have told many of the conservative detractors, we aren't even talking about the same thing. How are we going to ever come to agreement on this?

One of my problems with the rightist is they aren't looking to come to agreement. They are looking to win the argument. Period. Certainly I would like to win the argument too but a reasonable adaption of your views as an integration of the answer is fine with me. Give and take is what makes the world workable for all of us. You can't have it all but you are naturally entitled inclusion. No matter what side you are on. This is what a smooth running Democracy (ok, republic, I know) looks like.
Most of those I meet on the right are unflinching, dogmatic, dismissive and take, take, take, all those lazy bums are below me, theocratic if even in the political sense. ....The mix of the attitude of faith with the practicalities of politics. They have gone as far as many are will to let them go.
I am, and always have been willing to cooperate to make this country all the things we all dream it will be. Again I understand, we aren't talking about the same things. One's ideal is admittedly closer to socialism with the people having control of the things we all share as common and necessary for a strong society. The other side is more favorable to something closer to anarchy. No controls, no regulations, no interference to shape anything. The cream will rise to the top. Which is what is necessary for a strong society.
I understand both sides and know that a mix of both will provide for the strongest society. I must admit to having a moral repulsion to the pure survival of the fittest social darwinism. Practically, I also find it harmful to do things that tamp down the cream of the crop or unduly restrict talent and/or intelligence. If one assumes that the U.S. is only a land mass without the people then it follows that a patriotic feeling would come from a feeling for the people and system they create. The more people included the more they are going to feel like it works for them. The fewer included the more to wonder if it works.

For me a feeling of patriotism comes from our ideals of inclusion and opportunity. In the world I see that inclusion, working together and sense of opportunity are diminishing. It gives me no reason to feel pride in an enterprise that appears to me to be failing. To feel proud of your country as a matter of faith rather than reason is, to me, like giving every kid at the soccer tournament a trophy. Makes them kind of meaningless if you ask me. It makes patriotism useless if it matters not what the real condition of the country and it's people is.
Many will say, yes we have problems but it's far better here than in other places. Wellllllll, sometimes yes, sometimes no. The right seems to love facts and documentation(of course then when you show it it, is just a piece of liberal bias) well, here are the facts in documentation. Knock yourself out.

What it all comes down to is if you see patriotism like I do then you are not even talking about the same thing as the people that see it as a matter of faith and unbending loyalty.
With all matters of our country we need to understand each other. We don't have to agree but we must agree that our country must be inclusive and we must make the attempt to make it a country that includes the views and concerns of all of us. That is the kind of country that would stir my patriotism. It's not happening. Too all you patriots out there, sorry to offend you but I'm frankly not feeling to patriotic right now.
I have a hard time feeling pride for preemptive war, torture, warrantless wiretaps, international lawbreaker, corporate crony, cost plus, no bid contract, blatantly political “justice” department, biggest debtor nation, America. I apologize if that offends your sense of patriotism. I recognize that is "blame America first". Know why I do that? .......CUZ I LIVE HERE! My family, virtually everyone I have ever know lives here. I pay taxes here. I am first concerned about my country and what they are doing in my name. Yes, I blame America first because I have the biggest stake in America. On a practical basis, my only stake is in America. In 1971 when this song was made country music legend Johnny Cash was expressing what was considered patriotic.
If we had a little less loyalty to a party or a flag and a little more loyalty to each other maybe, just maybe, we could recognize we really are all in this together. We will get a lot farther using the assets and ideas of all of us conservative and liberal.
A person that would believe that would be far more a true patriot to me than a guy that put his hand over his heart or wore moms apple pie on their lapel everyday. We can fight mightly but we will never go forward until we decide to work for the common good so we all have a piece of the pie.
Addendum:

I have a hypothesis about why the right is like they are. I find many are 40ish plus or minus. This means most of what they have experienced with politics is from 1988 or so on. The end of Reagan to the end of Bush. They have been told non stop all their life about how evil liberalism is. They have never met the boogy man. They haven't experienced liberal control. Of course, they will tell you they are experiencing the effects of the liberal policies. Which is true. Only they ignore the good things they have thanks to liberals. Whether they believe it should be there for them or not it is. Someday when it's not they may change their opinion.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Archie Bunker type of "America Love It or Leave It" mentality is stupid. I am a Liberal who loves America as much as anyone, but the America I love is that of Thomas Jefferson and Emma Lazarus ("Give me your tired, your poor...") rather than
that of Dick Cheney, etc.
Also, our forefathers were mostly Deists not Christians, or at least not in the way of James Dobson and Pat Robertson or Dubya who claims to be a Christian while understanding nothing of the message of Jesus Christ or worse yet Tom Delay who is maybe the worst example of a Christian on this planet! I am sick of the attempt to turn America into a fundamentalist Christian theocracy.
Wearing a flag lapel pin and singing "God Bless America" and attending a particular church does NOT make someone a good patriot, but standing up for the ideals of Jefferson, Adams, etc. (who got many of their ideas from the French Liberals of the Enlightenment period) does.

Mara

5:06 PM, July 05, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out today's "Doonesbury" if you haven't seen it-isn't that ever the truth? I just love how Americans get so much more of the REAL news/facts from a comic strip compared to what we get from the so called Liberal media. If McCain wins, it will be because of the fear card, the sorry excuse for journalism in this country, and more dirty tricks from Diebold, etc.

Mara

4:20 PM, July 06, 2008  
Blogger Ron said...

Right where I'm at Mara...Ok, Adams bothers me sometimes but I'll take Republican Teddy Roosevelt over anybody mentioned today. I do worry some about Diebold. I also am not sure Obama is of "savior" proportion but any step forward is a step forward. I don't see any Rightists that want to fix anything. Lassize-Faire. Ain't cuttin it for me anymore.

11:24 PM, July 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teddy Roosevelt was progressive in many ways. Liberals are progressive, so he was what you can rarely find in government today-a Liberal Republican.
It's ridiculous the way the far right tries to pretend that our forefathers' ideas that came largely from the philosophies of the LIBERAL Frenchmen of the Age of Enlightenment bear any resemblance to the fascist (not democratic) policies of the neo-conservatives. Their rhetoric and McCain's swiftboating campaign strategy against Barack Obama are unbelievably Orwellian.
If you haven't seen it yet, the number one adjective to describe McCain in a recent poll is OLD (True, but SELLOUT and HYPOCRITE should be in the top 5.)

Mara

3:39 PM, July 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of sellouts, Joe Lieberman's approval rating in Conn. is down to its lowest level ever-take a wild guess why!

His support of John McCain, of course, and to think that even after he won his last Senate race as an INDEPENDENT, he still claimed to be a Democrat. How can Lieberman who has been a pretty good environmentalist for years still be supporting McCain who has totally caved in to the far right on this issue now?!!! Somehow, I doubt that Joe will win another Senate race in Conn.
D'ya supppse that people with Obama stickers on their cars are not being allowed into McCain rallies? Isn't it a little weird that it would take 4 police officers to escort a 60 year old librarian off a museum's property (partly paid for by taxpayers) after she was given a ticket for tresspassing? Must've been that dangerous "McCain=Bush" sign she was holding and why do Republicans who still support Bush think that's a bad thing? We are definitely down the rabbit hole.

Mara

3:44 PM, July 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the heck is the matter with Jesse Jackson? I can not believe that such a hateful and crude statement came out of his mouth and with him a minister, too. Besides that, it isn't a prejudicial statement that ALL fathers regardless of their race, ethnicity, and religion should support their children financially (if they can) and play an active role in their lives. Bill Cosby has also been attacked for saying the same things and for saying that Blacks should learn to speak ENGLISH. Ebonomics when speaking to each other is one thing, but to compete re: education and careers is something else again. That's not racism-that's reality!

Mara

4:13 PM, July 10, 2008  

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