November 18, 2008
A Real Patriot Would...
There are many avenues for expressing one's patriotism for their country. I for one though would not be classified into what seems a very traditional and narrow view of being an American. There is this strange, dogmatic stance in some circles that believes the USA can do no harm and the greatest gift a person can give their country is their life. While this may be the greatest sacrifice, I'm not sure it's the greatest gift our nation needs, for right now at least.
To die for one's country means to protect what one believes to be more right, better, and correct over and against another (amonst other things). While I'm for protecting democracy, I'm also for pushing, moving towards, and birthing democracy, which we have not acquired. Did you hear that, our country, the "greatest" nation on earth does not live up to its own dream, we are failing, short, and empty in areas.
I for one do not believe that the United States of America is the greatest nation on the world, even in light of our recent election where we voted in a minority whose life represents the real "American struggle." My version of patriotism is to call into mind that our country is wrong and has been wrong in several of our stances and actions, not because I'm against the USA but exactly the opposite. To be an American means not to live in a place of privilege, but a place of responsibility being that much of the world's economies depend upon our own.
Therefore I will not go to war for my country and die for someone else's greed, hate, ignorance, and zeal; but I will call my country to repent. A true patriot is one who will denounce the atrocities of Guantanamo, the killing of civilians in Iraq by our people, or the abuse of the elected officials to our constitution and dream.
So while I admire men who give up so much to go to war and fight battles that their only investment is their birthplace, I must say to all my fellow country men and women that we must look at the gaint Oak Tree growing from our own eye before we try to pluck the tiny sprout from anothers. We cannot continue to be the problem and try to fix everyone elses. We must listen to those countries who are calling us to change, those who we've had a hand in oppressing for far too long (much of S. America).
To be continued.