Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Profitability of Patriotism...

pa·tri·ot·ism
Pronunciation: \ˈpā-trē-ə-ˌti-zəm, chiefly British ˈpa-\
Function: noun
Date: circa 1726
love for or devotion to one's country

Patriotism has become a scary thing in our country. Patriotism has been twisted and perverted. Patriotism has been used as an excuse to insult and to pretty much justify a complete loss of common sense, respect, decency and humanity. Take for instance the Tea Party movement. They rally with their flags and their signs. Their signs are full of racism and hate. But it is justified..because they are patriots. Timothy McVeigh bombed Oklahoma City...all under the guise of patriotism. People every day in this country call for the deaths of their fellow Americans over a variety of ideals (abortion and gay rights to just pick the top two) and they do so saying they love their country and that these people are destroying their country. Yes...I would say that patriotism is not what it used to be...and that it has become a scary thing. As a matter of fact I would say that I am almost afraid to call myself a patriot...even though I DO love my country and would proudly give my life for her. But I would not dare use the word patriot or patriotism for fear of being associated with those nut cases.

Patriotism has been used in politics to attempt to bully the opposing party into voting a certain way. Take for instance Barbie Girl Palin in the last presidential election when she referred to the real Americans as those that side with her and her political views and would vote for a real American, John McCain. The most American thing I can do is go to that voting booth and vote my conscience and vote my views and not be bullied by some right wing nut job into voting for the America they want and want to force on me.

Patriotism is also profitable. I live in the deep south...in an area that is as Right Wing as you can possibly get and is the deepest shade of red you can possibly find. In this part of the country loving God and loving America go hand in hand. If you do not love God then you do not love America...simple as that. It makes it a little uncomfortable for a liberal atheist...believe me! So I am sitting and watching tv yesterday and a commercial comes on for a local car dealer...so the dealer has the American flag flowing all over the screen and the dealer says...Support America! Support the Troops! Buy American!....HUH??? WTF???? This commercial is then followed by a hospice care clinic who tells viewers to support our veterans, has a flag and pics of active troop members and elderly people.

The complaint has often been made that Christmas has been so commercialized so that it has lost all meaning. I would argue that patriotism has been so twisted by the right wing and has been commercialized so much that it has lost all meaning. The person you find referring to themself as a patriot nine out of ten times is a nut job racist.

Am I saying that people on the right do not love their country? Not at all. I know many of these people love America. I think they they have twisted their love for America into hate for their fellow Americans. They have divided this nation over issues that are truly irrelevant. They have taken their view as the ONLY view...their opinions as the only RIGHT opinions and reject their fellow Americans that have opposing views as traitors and destroyers of all we hold dear.

And then there are the peddlers. The fools that feed on this frenzy and the sheep that eat it up. People who use our flag to turn a dollar, like the Tea Party Convention and Sarah Palin's ridiculous speaker fee. People that are bottom feeders. Leeches trying to feed off of our love for our country.

I love my country. I don't understand it sometimes. I am currently disillusioned with our system. A system that can make a war mongering illiterate dip wad a hero...and take a man that is trying to do something for our economy and make him out to be a villain. I am confused by a mentality that thinks we can continue raping the world, taking what we want, bullying smaller countries and telling the world to suck it up. I am confused when my fellow workers talk about "The Pershing Way" (which apparently refers to General Pershing's means of handling the terrorists...shoot 50 of them with pig fat splattered bullets bury them in a grave facing west and cover their grave with pig intestines). I am confused by a nation that preaches "God is Love" yet fosters so much hate. I am confused by a nation claiming to have the "high moral ground" yet believes that the ends justifies the means. Doing the right thing is meaningless if you do it the wrong way. I am confused that a nation that promotes liberty and freedom for all can tell two people they cant marry because a religious group wants to force their moral views on everybody else. I am confused and disillusioned by a system that will never get anything done because both parties refuse to let the other party be the one to fix things.

I am confused...I am disillusioned...but I still love this country...I love my countrymen...and I love My flag...May Ol' Glory fly forever...does this make me a patriot? Gosh I hope not...because I don't much care for most of the "patriots" I know.

4 comments:

Kat said...

It's a shame that the love of one's country - patriotism - has become so twisted by those whose agenda has nothing to do with the love, compassion, loyalty and empathy towards their fellow countrymen. I always find hope, though, when I hear someone else voice this opinion. It tells me that these ideals aren't completely lost.

Mandy said...

Ok. Let's see if I can sound coherent here...*climbs back on my soap box*

This whole patriotism thing? Well it depends on how you look at it. Realistically it can be viewed and points can be made from both sides. Our military consider themselves patriots and I believe that is the true definition of the word. THAT is how the word should be used. THEY are patriots. Those of us that support them? Patriots. Willing to die for your country? Patriots. Then end.

Now. Sarah Palin. Ugh. I hate to admit I was so excited when John McCain chose her. (Is now the time to mention I attended a McCain rally and was a county delegate last year? No, ok, won't mention it). I have changed. She was WORST thing to happen to the republican party. Ever. Hands down. The fact that we are now saddled with seeing her and with her being the face of the republican party is enough for me to know I am no longer considered a republican.

Both sides consider their views to be the only views. That is part of the problem. The system is broken. Beyond repair. Don't get me started on the tax system. However, the problem is politicians. They preach what their constituents want to hear then head back up to Washington and conform to the "good 'ol boy" system. Term limits are the answer here, I believe. They MUST be held accountable. There are idiots that vote. That is a problem, but what can we do about that?

I, too, am disillusioned (if you hadn't gotten that by now-maybe I should have made this a blog post rebuttal). The bullying MUST stop, but we do have to protect our overseas interests, right or wrong, in order for our country to sustain. Albeit for what it is at this point.

"The Pershing Way" is absolutely disgusting. It is despicable, abhorrent behavior and should NEVER be referred to as anything less. It is voiced by BOTH sides at times. A lot.

I just about completely agree with your next to last paragraph. Too much government is a big part of the issue. Do we really need rules on where people can smoke and can't smoke? When bars must stop serving liquor and more importantly who can and cannot marry? Is THIS the freedoms our country was founded on? NO, it's a bunch of old fogey's forcing THEIR beliefs on us and it's got to stop.

That's my response. :)

parry hotter said...

I agree with you 0_0

ladyrebecca said...

Yup. You pretty much summed it up. I, too, am disillusioned with the state of things in my country and for that, have been accused of being unpatriotic. I don't know when acknowledging a problem with your country became equal to hating your country but it has, at least in the minds of the small-minded. Thanks for sharing. Where about's in the Deep South are you? I have a friend that is also a liberal atheist and since we left her there has been hard up for like minded people. We were such a minority down there. :)

 

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