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Opinion

Redefining Patriotism

Many equate patriotism with blind acceptance of one’s country, but this does not have to be the case (Alba Vigaray / European Pressphoto Agency) Many equate patriotism with blind acceptance of one’s country, but this does not have to be the case (Alba Vigaray / European Pressphoto Agency)

Out of our current political turmoil, a number of differing opinions have surfaced regarding the best way of supporting the United States as a citizen. This controversy arises from the uncertainty of how one could possibly rectify such a tumultuous situation of fighting parties and capricious leadership, and whether the solution lies in direct opposition to the instigators of change or the slower crawl of social unification to oppose the abasing values of the current regime.

However, the dire predicament that the country has found itself in should not motivate us to dissolve any form of patriotism, in fact, this is the time that assistance from the people is needed most. To be patriotic is to have the well-being of a country in mind; when an esteemed family member falls ill the action taken is not to leave them to their own decay but to assist in their betterment. So, too, must reform take place within the minds of those to whom the affliction affects, to identify the cause of illness and begin an informed quest of healing.

It would be foolish to dismiss the more recent connotations of patriotism, which serve to diminish the positive impact that a people sensitive to the prosperity of a nation may have. Patriotism is often envisioned today as thoughtless pride in one’s homeland, regardless of the state of affairs that the country is in or the actions of the ruling body. What was once a word describing a healthy care for one’s country, yet it has morphed into a state of mind that is nothing short of malevolent nationalism.

Patriotism is often envisioned today as thoughtless pride in one’s homeland, regardless of the state of affairs that the country is in or the actions of the ruling body.

The expressed wish to make the United States “great” has been twisted, made to harken back to an ambiguous time when the power held in all aspects of life was in the hands of Americans who came from backgrounds and looked similar to the men in the highest positions of power in the nation at the moment. What results from this is a confused public, a divided public who are feeling the manipulative efforts of the greater government to restrict those already without power and feed into the power already held by others.

Those who are slighted, who are most affected by the increasingly polarized government, are the one’s whom a sense of positive patriotism is the most important of all. This form of patriotism that seeks to change the established government for the better, the mentality that assumes the responsibility of upending the degrading morality of the current American administration.

When the nationalistic individuals whose pride in country supersedes the acknowledgement of fault on the part of their home nation are identified as the chauvinists that they are, perhaps patriotism will not be proudly taken up solely by those whom the nation benefits. When this transition occurs, a true sense of national pride can be held in a group that actively seeks to create a nation that represents all.

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Redefining Patriotism