The George-Anne Media Group • November 4, 2016 • https://thegeorgeanne.com/6189/opinion/dissenting-against-the-narrative/
Patriotism For Dummies
Patriotism is not about standing for the Pledge of Allegiance and going on some incoherent rant about the troops when Colin Kaepernick refuses to do the same, patriotism is appreciating what you’ve got, taking pride in the privileges you’re granted, and utilizing those privileges to benefit your life and the lives of your fellow countrymen.
Whether that involves using your freedom of speech to question the military-industrial complex when innocent civilians are executed with drone strikes in foreign countries, or using your fourth amendment rights to avoid an unreasonable search from an overbearing police officer, it’s extremely important to understand that we each have a responsibility to ourselves to take full advantage of our rights.
These aforementioned privileges were put in place by our founding fathers in order to maintain a balance of power between the people and those who make laws as well as those who enforce the laws.
In addition to this leverage granted by our privileges, they also serve to maintain the vital components of a functioning democracy.
Brought To You Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue
Our foreign policy is an extremely touchy subject for many Americans, especially for those who have family and friends who are either currently enlisted or are military veterans.
One of the main arguments used against those who dare speak out against their country in any context, but especially when it comes to our foreign policy, is that there are hundreds of thousands of soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in order to protect that which we hold dear, and somehow that fact in and of itself means that any form of dissent is a sign of disrespect to those who have lost their lives at war.
Although I’m certainly not denying that there have been many brave individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around this argument.
We haven’t been involved in any kind of conflict with a foreign country that has been an immediate threat to our country and our way of life since World War II, and in many instances our unwelcome invasion of nearly 50 countries since that time has actually made life much, much worse for the citizens of those countries.
A Five Minute Conversation With The Average Voter
For far too many Americans, patriotism involves an unwary stance on the status quo.
There’s a deep sense of American exceptionalism embedded in our culture, and it’s been that way for generations.
We’ve been fed this narrative that tells us that America has been on the frontlines of virtually every noble and just cause since we gained our independence from the British.
There are so many of us that truly believe America is a force for virtue throughout the world, and that any action we take must necessarily work to benefit the victims of some humanitarian crisis or to relinquish circumstances that prevent the people of the world from living peaceful and fruitful lives.
Not only is this revisionist version of history absolutely false, it’s dangerous, because it often leads to a sort of cognitive dissonance that allows for otherwise decent people to try and justify hypocrisy at the highest levels of our government and military under the guise of the so-called ‘greater good’.