For a long time, people have been brandying about the term patriot. Some have been claiming that they are while others are not. Webster’s dictionary defines it as ” one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests”. I think there is a secondary, American definition. That definition comes from what I feel are the founders of this country of ours. I think it is embodied in the Declaration of Independence as well as the Constitution of the United States.
That definition is ” one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests, but questions vigorously, and vocally when their country is doing wrong”. I really believe the definition should be amended to include that.
Here’s why. Someone who is ” one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests” , implies that they blindly following their leaders & country without question. This, without too many separations gets “patriotism” you into the very dangerous position of being a National Socialist. Being a “patriot” who is blind and is not calling shenanigans on the government when it’s required and necessary, regardless of party affiliation, is very close to National Socialism. This very blind patriotism is what got Hitler to power. In some cases, it enabled Stalin, and various other dictators across the globe to commit the atrocities that they have over the centuries.
I have to say it, true American patriots will say that their party is wrong, and call them out on it, and do what they can, regardless of party affiliation. This goes for either side.
I know it’s hard to “question everything” in the “information age”. Yes it was a lot easier to figure it all out when it wasn’t the “information age”. I’m here to try and convince you that the only real patriot is one that keeps their mind open and questions not only their beliefs, but the party they associate with. Patriotism in the USA, is not blind faith, it is keeping your mind open and questioning everything. Question what you are fed via the “information age”. Question what you believe. Question why you believe it. Question why others believe it. This is what freedom is. Freedom and patriotism is really philosophical debate not only externally, but internally.
What it comes down to is think. Don’t believe everything you read. Do your research. Do your reading. Don’t just go along party lines to reinforce your ideas. Watch an obvious “liberal” documentary or show with an open mind. Watch an obvious “conservative” documentary or show with an open mind. Let the questions and points brought up in either simmer and cook for a while.
Please people. Think. Think for yourselves. In this country, that is the singular best right, the right to think and say what you want. You know, that thing in the first amendment.