Let go and let God
- Jul 19, 2011
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
So this opinion piece caught my interest this morning, and I am interested what people think about the meaning of patriotism, and whether the author's attempt to define it is on target. Thanks
https://www.bainbridgereview.com/opinion/what-does-it-really-mean-to-be-patriotic-lee-h-hamilton/The vast majority of Americans consider themselves patriots — even if, as Gallup found in June, less than half of poll respondents considered themselves “extremely proud” to be American. This was the first time this has happened in almost two decades of polling on the question.The two broad strands outlined by The Times inarguably exist. We all remember the naval hero Stephen Decatur’s famous toast in 1816, “Our country, right or wrong.” And Senator Carl Schurz’s amendment a half-century later: “My country, right or wrong — if right, to be kept right, if wrong, to be set right.” We may criticize our country, in other words, but this is not motivated by malice. It’s motivated by special affection and a belief that a great country can be made greater.
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America,” President Clinton argued, laying out a vision of patriotism that is not about symbols, but about building on a nation’s intangible strengths.
I buy that. I believe that patriotism means getting on with the serious business of improving our country. It means that we strive to ensure that we live up to our pledge of liberty and justice for all. In this formulation, patriotism is best expressed not in parades or speeches or exhortations or conspicuous displays, but in what we do.