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Patriotism

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
What makes a person patriotic? Is it calling fries "Freedom fries" as opposed to "French fries"? Is it speaking out against injustice, even if your opinion is the unpopular one? It has been a rather hot-button issue here in the States post-9/11, so I'm curious to see how people both in the US and abroad define patriotism.
post #2 of 16
I"ve always viewed Patriotism as standing up for one's own country. You fly your country's flag, you don't diss your country (despite who is in charge) and you're there when the citizens need you.
post #3 of 16
Patriotism lies not in blind obedience to authority, but in the desire to search for the truth.
~Ramman Kenoun

Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.
~James Bryce

The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
~Herman Goering

Patriotism is respecting and loving my country; wanting to do what is best for it.

I respect and love my country. But I resented the atmosphere after 9/11 where anyone who questioned what our leaders were doing were accused of not being patriotic. I have never agreed with the decision to go into Iraq for the reasons we were given. I feel that those in charge manipulated our feelings of patriotism and now we are in a quagmire that those same leaders don't know how to get us out of.

So what is more patriotic? Supporting our leaders right or wrong? Or is it questioning our leaders to make sure that their decisions are in the best interest of the country?
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
So what is more patriotic? Supporting our leaders right or wrong? Or is it questioning our leaders to make sure that their decisions are in the best interest of the country?
This is sort of where I'm going at with this thread, trying to see what people consider truly patriotic: supporting your country's leaders, right or wrong, or questioning leaders in the interest of what is truly best for your country. I've heard patriotism described in so many ways and I'd especially love to hear what people in non-US countries consider patriotic.

Personally, I think Thomas Jefferson said it best: "Dissent is the highest form patriotism."
post #5 of 16
I love my country. I love being Canadian, and honestly, I can't think of a better place to live. I'm proudly Canadian: I never feel embarassed to admit where I'm from, I proudly announce it when meeting strangers from other countries, and when I travel, I wear a little Canadian flag on my backpack.

I do not, however, believe that patriotism means you turn a blind eye to the flaws or failings of your country. I don't like my prime minister; his values and my own values have very little in common, and, in fact, a lot of what he's been trying to accomplish while in office has been contrary to the things I want to see happening in my country. I don't like him or his party, but that just means that, as a patriotic Canadian, I won't vote for him in the next federal election. I have the right (and the responsibility!) to vote for the person I feel will best serve my country's interests. Because I do vote, I believe that I have the right to criticize my government: as a voter and a taxpayer, my voice deserves to be heard, even if my opinions and beliefs are unpopular.

Likewise, I can be troubled by things like the seal hunt, or our involvement in the Iraq war, or the way our Native peoples have been treated over the years, and still be patriotic. I can be critical of where my tax dollars are being spent, of our crumbling education system, and of the ridiculously long wait-times in our hospitals, and still be a patriotic Canadian. I think patriotism is wanting what's best for our country, and wanting our country to be the best in the world, and to have the best reputation in the world.

I don't think disagreeing with your government makes you unpatriotic. It doesn't make you a bad Canadian (or American, or Brit, or what have you). In truth, in any country where you have a constitutional right to voice your opinion, I think to do otherwise when it is clearly a detriment to your country would be unpatriotic. To stand up and say "I think Harper (or Bush, or Blair, or whomever) is doing a great job!" when you clearly believe otherwise -- but don't want to say anything negative, lest the international forum think less of your leader -- is unpatriotic. Our leaders are fallible, but they should be held accountable for their actions, and the only way to do so is to be critical of the things they do and to voice those criticisms. You do your country no good by blindly accepting things without thinking critically about them. I'm not saying that you should disagree just to be contrary (although the role of Devil's Advocate is certainly a valuable one), but that patriotism doesn't mean just smiling and nodding whenever your leader says or does something, especially not when said leader says or does something you disagree with.
post #6 of 16
Great post Mirinae! Exactly how I feel, too!
post #7 of 16
If questioning authority isn't patriotic, then it is time for the USA to start a dictatorship or monarchy.

That's one of the things I love SO much about my country: FREEDOM. Freedom to criticize those in authority and the freedom to vote them OUT of office.

Of course, we have a lot less freedom now, with rights being taken away from us left and right due to FEAR.

But I love my country, and I am PROUD to be an American citizen of the US of A. And that pride is what makes me a patriot. JMO.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Of course, we have a lot less freedom now, with rights being taken away from us left and right due to FEAR.
That's why the "Patriot Act" was such a misnomer. It took away freedoms under the guise of being patriotic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
~Herman Goering
I've always loved this quote as it applies to our government today.

I love this country, but I will go for the best interests of the country, not the bidding of our leaders. That is true patriotism.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
Patriotism lies not in blind obedience to authority, but in the desire to search for the truth.
~Ramman Kenoun

Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.
~James Bryce

The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders...tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
~Herman Goering

Patriotism is respecting and loving my country; wanting to do what is best for it.

I respect and love my country. But I resented the atmosphere after 9/11 where anyone who questioned what our leaders were doing were accused of not being patriotic. I have never agreed with the decision to go into Iraq for the reasons we were given. I feel that those in charge manipulated our feelings of patriotism and now we are in a quagmire that those same leaders don't know how to get us out of.

So what is more patriotic? Supporting our leaders right or wrong? Or is it questioning our leaders to make sure that their decisions are in the best interest of the country?

Great Post! Wish there had been more questioning sooner, like before the invasion. And I don't think I need to wave a flag or have a sticker on my car to be patriotic either!
post #10 of 16
Wow there have been some great posts in this thread. What a fantastic idea for a thread.

Patriotism is different to Nationalism, the former being what I think most of us are, and the latter being reserved to more fundamentalist types.

Definitions:

Patriotism: when you love your country and are proud of it.

Nationalism: 1) the desire for and the attempt to achieve political independence for your country or nation, 2) a great or too great love of your own country:

I am a patriot. And if using the definition above, yes I am proud of my country. But I'm not proud of our leader, and being patriotic doesn't mean that I don't question, disapprove of and sometimes downright disagree with him. To me, he has done more to harm this wonderful nation than anyone outside Australia could have done.

He talks ad nauseum about people/acts/protests - anything that disagrees with him - as being `un-Australian'. But he is the most `un-Australian' thing that has ever happened to this country.

I am patriotic, yes. I believe this country has the potential for great things. We have a physically beautiful land to live in - I love our quirks, I love our language, I love our stories, I love our people. I think our government has let us down. And I'm not alone - new polls released this morning show our government and our Prime Minister in the worst favour they have been in since being elected to power all those years ago.

But what I love most is my right as an Australian to have a say in how my country is run, to have the freedoms that I have, and to be free to criticise my government without fear of retribution from them. Do I love Australia? Yes. Do I love being Australian? Yes. Do I think we can do better? Yes. And, being patriotic, I believe we will!
post #11 of 16
To me, being an American, patriotism means enjoying my many freedoms that countless numbers of men and women have died while defending. It's knowing that I live in a diverse, beautiful, fundamentally good country and being proud to say I am an American in front of everyone I meet. It's making sure the American Flag I fly in my yard is clean and in good repair. It's knowing that I can complain about our government if I want without fear of punishment. It's occasionally getting a little teary eyed while standing during the national anthem at a baseball game and swelling with pride when that same anthem is played for an Olympic Gold medalist. It's the sense of pride I feel when I tell people about my grandfather the World War II war hero and how his eyes would light up when he told stories of how he fought for a cause he truly believed in. Being patriotic, to me, means loving almost everything about my country and my life here.....and has very little to do with politics.
post #12 of 16
Patriotism is one of those older terms that i am sure the government would love to change/update the definition of. Being such a young, developing country, patriotism is what acknowledges the "power of the people" , allows growth, and political flexibility in our government.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellyyfaber View Post
To me, being an American, patriotism means enjoying my many freedoms that countless numbers of men and women have died while defending. It's knowing that I live in a diverse, beautiful, fundamentally good country and being proud to say I am an American in front of everyone I meet. It's making sure the American Flag I fly in my yard is clean and in good repair. It's knowing that I can complain about our government if I want without fear of punishment. It's occasionally getting a little teary eyed while standing during the national anthem at a baseball game and swelling with pride when that same anthem is played for an Olympic Gold medalist. It's the sense of pride I feel when I tell people about my grandfather the World War II war hero and how his eyes would light up when he told stories of how he fought for a cause he truly believed in. Being patriotic, to me, means loving almost everything about my country and my life here.....and has very little to do with politics.
Great post, I feel the same way. If we are somewheres and I hear our National Anthem play, I always stand. I do this even if we are at home. We watch the races every Sunday and I do this at home, everybody around me knows to take their hat off too.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSULOVER View Post
Great post, I feel the same way. If we are somewheres and I hear our National Anthem play, I always stand. I do this even if we are at home. We watch the races every Sunday and I do this at home, everybody around me knows to take their hat off too.
I like that a lot. I like that it speaks on so many levels not just of patriotism, but respect, and deference. And, basic courtesy and good manners. Things that seem to be disappearing more and more from everyday behaviour. I really admire you for that.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
I like that a lot. I like that it speaks on so many levels not just of patriotism, but respect, and deference. And, basic courtesy and good manners. Things that seem to be disappearing more and more from everyday behaviour. I really admire you for that.
Well-said! One of my biggest frustrations is being the only person standing and saluting the flag at parades Esp. at the Memorial Day parade - to far too many people, it's just a 3-day holiday, time for BBQs, picnics, the kick off to summer, fun, fun, fun How soon we forget
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme View Post
Well-said! One of my biggest frustrations is being the only person standing and saluting the flag at parades Esp. at the Memorial Day parade - to far too many people, it's just a 3-day holiday, time for BBQs, picnics, the kick off to summer, fun, fun, fun How soon we forget
That doesn't happen around me, my family is always praying that everyone around me is standing when the National Anthem is playing. We go to races and football games and whatever. When the Nation Anthem is playing you had better be taking your hat off (if you are a man) and you better be standing when it is being played, if not I am gonna say something to you. I have done it before.
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