Sunday, July 31, 2011

Patriotism: Dead or Alive?

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.


The Robert said...

Money--and those who have the most of it--have redefined patriotism....

The only way evil can defeat good is to redefine good as evil....

Anonymous said...

For a guy who usually keeps his opinions about politics and government to himself, you've sure nailed this one, in my view. I read and nodded my way through. Agreed, agreed, agreed.

If gotten some crap for voicing my opinion that donning a uniform doesn't automatically give someone hero status. It's not a popular viewpoint, and I'm glad to see someone else willing to publicly state the same thing. Some soldiers are heroes, no doubt, but so are some teachers and social workers and parents. So is the guy who installs gutters for a living, and gave a kidney to a stranger, just because she needed it. Heroism is born from a person's actions, and there are heroes, those who just skate by, and everything in between pretty much anywhere and everywhere. I think that this calling everyone in uniform a hero has actually diluted the impact of the word, which is a shame.

As far as patriotism, I don't think it's about the flag-waving, red, white, & blue wearing, "love it or leave it" mentality that seems to be growing in popularity. I think that a patriot is someone who is willing to call bullshit, no matter where it's seen, and is further willing to take a stand--popular or not--about what they feel is right for their country. The patriots who started this country would likely be disgusted to see how their words and ideals have been and continue to be twisted to suit whatever agenda people want to push.

Derek Odom said...

Awesome comment, WordNerd! I have many, many soldier friends and even THEY feel this way. So I personally can't wait until the media-induced public wakes up a little. :)

jeeperjohn said...

Well, I mostly agree with you Derek. O think ayone who agrees to put their life on the line to serve others has a little bit of hero in them. Signing up for the military today is an almost sure ticket to Afghanistan. For me, patriotism means standing up for the constitution. You know, that old document those effing panty waste pos politicians are trying to unravel? I support the concept of America and our way of life as envisioned by our forefathers. I will gladly defend the people of my beloved America against any gyrannical government dead set on taking away the rights we are guaranteed by our constitution. This has already started, just look at the ghost of the 2nd amemndment. Seeing what unbridled socialistic idealism is doing to my homeland makes me sick. I am a patriot! And by god I will not sit idly by and watch my country go down the tubes! God bless America!

Frank said...

I was going to post a rather lengthy quote from a 19th century senator, but I'll say this instead. A real patriot looks out for his country. He keeps it on track, and its people taken care of. This has nothing to do with party politics. Being a Republican makes you no more of a patriot than being a Democrat. Really, you are less of one if one of your favorite sport is insulting the other guy just because he disagrees with you. Doubly so if the majority of that is cussing at him and ad hominems. You aren't the better man, you're a child in that situation, and need to learn to make actual points in debate instead of calling the other guy a libt*rd or republic*nt.