Monday, June 04, 2018

On Being Patriotic

A few days ago I went out with Agnes on a field trip to her favorite crafts store ... after all, someone needs to mind the cart while she ponders the difference between six different shades of blue fabric, right?

Anyhow, I took notice of the store’s large displays of decorations for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Great piles of red, white, and blue bunting, flags in all sizes, fierce-looking eagles, Gadsden flags, and dozens of different sizes and styles of signs shouting the single word “freedom” - everything you need to decorate for Independence Day in true American style.

But it just doesn’t seem to ring true, somehow.

Make no mistake: I am a proud American and I love my country ... at least, I love the America that used to be where some other strange country is now. I’m embarrassed by ostentatious displays of “patriotism” purchased at the local crafts store and unsupported by the actions of a thoughtful, well-informed citizen. Here’s what I think:

It’s not “patriotic” to worship the Second Amendment if you ignore all the other ones.

It’s not “patriotic” to believe freedom of religion applies only to those who worship like you do.

It's not "patriotic" to believe freedom of speech doesn't apply to those whose ideas differ from yours.

It’s not “patriotic” if you believe that people of the other political party hate America.

It’s not “patriotic” if you believe the borders should be hermetically sealed to keep others from aspiring to the American dream*.

It’s not “patriotic” to fly the Confederate flag, the Gadsden flag, or any flag other than the Stars and Stripes.

It’s not “patriotic” to demand your rights and ignore your responsibilities.

It’s not “patriotic” to insist on your right to carry weapons everywhere you go unless you’re also willing to enlist in the armed services to defend your country.

It’s not “patriotic” to complain about your government if you didn’t vote.

As we get ready to celebrate Independence Day, be a real patriot. Don’t be an empty-headed, flag-waving poser.

Have a good day. More thoughts later.


* This does not mean that crossing the border illegally is okay - it's not. What it means is that we need to get rid of a feckless Congress that doesn't have the guts to enact rational immigration laws for 21st century America.


Mike said...

Hopefully we're not going to need another mass shooting to get the millennials out to vote in November.

allenwoodhaven said...

Excellent. It should be published. Bilbo, how about standing in for Thomas Paine and writing a new version of Common Sense? You're a good pick for the job.