Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Patriotism

With the fourth of July behind us I finally feel that I can admit something. It's not a popular thing to admit right now but I don't really care. It needs to be said.

I'm not much of a patriot. Or at least I don't care much for patriotism.

I like this country. There are a number of nice benefits of living here. It is certainly a better place to live than many country in the world. But do I believe that this is the greatest country ever? Do I believe that everything the US does is great? That's where my patriotism begins to get a little shaky. I was young when I started to notice how the word patriot was bandied around in debates. It was often meant to be a conversation stopper. I watched us go to war (for the first time in my lifetime) and the cracks started to appear in the "America is wonderful" veneer. I suddenly started wondering if we were just as flawed as the other countries.

I started to read more about the ways that our country slips: torture, espionage, war-mongering, etc.... And the more I read the more I realized that we're not a perfect country. That we do some of the things that we rail against other countries doing. We just try to do them quietly and covertly. Now I'm not expecting our country to be perfect. That would be silly. But I am tired of the patriotic rhetoric that goes around, that says we are. I'm tired of the flag waving and political speeches that seem to say that we can do no wrong.

I got into an argument on July 4th about Edward Snowden. There was passionate argument on either side about whether he was a traitor or a hero. And one of the debaters asked me if I loved my country. And I paused to think. And I honestly couldn't say one way or another. Like I said, I like this country. But I think I could just as comfortably live in Canada.

3 comments:

Lowri Thomas said...

I found that really interesting to read. I was on vacation in the US during July 4th and was amazed to see so much passion over one's country's actions. I doubt many people would question the holiday's significance in the way that you do and I find it really refreshing.

Cat B said...

Lowri,

Thank you so much for the comment. The 4th would be an interesting time to visit the U.S. I hope you had a wonderful trip.

I find it an odd holiday. We celebrate the founding father's acts of treason, yet claim we are perfect as a country. It just seems strange. I'm glad you saw the post as refreshing. I think it's healthy to question any country's claims of being the best.

Again thanks for the comment. And thanks for reading. I appreciate specifically getting someone outside the U.S.'s opinion. Thanks!

Skem said...

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.
~Adolph Hitler

This is why politics stinks. But I love you and am glad you live in my country.