This has always been an interesting subject for me. Mostly, it’s interesting because everyone’s view on it is a little (or a lot) different. Patriotism today definitely differs from patriotism in the ‘50s or ‘60s, or any other generation, for that matter. But how, and why?
Today, it seems that folks are either nationalists or anarchists; there is no in-between. You are either a blind patriot or totally against everything government/country related. The media has tricked us into thinking every single soldier is a hero, no matter what, and has steered us away from police and fire men and women being heroes. Last time I checked, you don’t call the Navy if someone is breaking into your house.
There are enough copy and pasted “thank a soldier” posts on Facebook to make a guy retch. Yes, I’m glad we have men and women who are brave and fight for us, I guess, but heroes? Some are, to be sure, but other soldiers are just mediocre or even terrible people. That’s blind faith there, folks, and it isn’t healthy.
The other side of the coin are the people who’ll hate whomever is running the country, regardless of what that person says or does. Mostly, I think it’s all just a waste of time, anyhow. Sitting around bashing the president with other people who have temper problems isn’t going to do a thing to change his mind on any issue; in fact, it’s probably best if you just get involved with your family, your local community, or something else you can actually change. Or, go buy an island and enforce your own laws and codes; I’m sure it’ll work well for you.
The military draft is dead and gone. Soldiers, like police, sign up and are trained for their positions. If they had no choice and were just picked out randomly and then sent into war, my opinion would be totally different. Cops also work hard to keep us safe, and from real threats like gang members or pedophiles, not oil money or religious views. I hope the trend one day turns to thanking local police and fire again, because they put their lives on the line for us, as well.
This blog entry is not a soldier bash, but rather an honest inquiry as to where patriotism stands today. People are hugely influenced by the media, which scares the hell out of me. They are getting their educations from their couches, watching a picture box or reading opinionated media web sites. Not good.
What does patriotism mean to you? What enters your mind when you think of “our country”? Is it the land we live on? Is it the laws and history? Is it our freedom to be and do what we want? What exactly is it you’d like to defend? Is it actually under attack?
Real life isn’t like watching your favorite team on television; you cannot just keep cheering the country on, no matter what. While you may still be a fan of your favorite team whether they win or lose or what they do, serious questions must be asked of your country before you decided to blindly get on board and back it. That isn’t a patriot, that’s someone who needs their head checked.