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A New Patriotism in American

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  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    I often think about political issues in the USA. Watching the fireworks this 4th of July really made me think a lot more about patriotism in the USA. Then I read this article that made me think even more.

    There are different types of patriotism in the United States. Some citizens blindly follow whatever Fox News says, whatever their Republican leaders say, whatever their religious leaders say, all without question. They say they “Support the Troops”, their SUVs and pickup trucks are covered in yellow ribbon magnets, NObama and WWJD stickers. They seem to be afraid of what America will become and they desperately want to derail the inevitable. They are also afraid to ask questions, it is almost as if questioning any figurehead makes them a terrorist…or worse, not American. These types of people always remind me of the following quote.

    “If the test of patriotism comes only by reflexively falling into lockstep behind the leader whenever the flag is waved, then what we have is a formula for dictatorship, not democracy" - Michael Parenti

    Then there are people like me. We are skeptical in nature, we trust a handful of news agencies, we understand what a joke Fox News is. We also support the troops but do not need stickers plastered all over everything to prove it. Our version of supporting the troops is to not send them to unnecessary and unrealistic wars in the first place. If they do have to be sent to war, we want to take care of them when they get home. Not leave them to commit suicide daily or cut veteran benefits, like Republicans voted to do recently. We want to see an America that has at least the same, if not better, level of health care as every other industrialized nation on Earth. We want to live in a country where people are allowed to marry the same gender as their own.

    Basically, we want to say “I am from America” and not feel embarrassed by how Republicans and all those conservative TV shows are portraying Americans. We want to be able to travel to other countries and avoid the following conversation - “Where are you from?”, “I am from the USA”, “….oh, okay…”.

    “Patriotism is the belief that not all human lives are worth the same.”
    Tao Lin

    This quote is the ugly truth for what the mainstream, Republican definition of “Patriotism” really is.

    When can we turn it around and make patriotism about something more?
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Excellent post, now here's something else for us all to think about in this great free land of ours this 4th of July weekend! http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/24751-do-the-poor-have-it-easy-most-republica...o
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    Well, that's.... Republican. I was going to say "That's expected". I think "Republican" is a good adjective to describe this way of thinking.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    I've got the feeling here; the more flags you wave and the more hot dogs you eat, that such means "patriotism" then on top of that the more ribbons and christmas junk on your uniform the better this country is protected. I know another country who waved a lot of flags and was militaristic. What happened to that country?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Troy -- I don't know that it is just young people that are becoming less patriotic. I am 67 years old and I cringe at much of the "hyper-patriotism" being exhibited by our population. I found it extremely distasteful for that group in Murrieta, California blocking the Homeland Security bus of children and parents to be waving American flags and chanting USA! USA! like they were at an international sporting event.

    In fact I find all the USA! USA! chants at international sporting events like the World Cup to be distasteful. And ditto for American Olympic athletes wrapping themselves in an American flag and taking a lap after a victory. It's excessive patriotism.

    When I used to attend baseball games, we would sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at the 7th inning stretch. Now they sing "America the Beautiful". When did that all change?

    It goes with all those "obligatory" yellow ribbon stickers on the back of cars that say we support our troops. I don't need to advertize my patriotism by putting those stickers on my car. I see those stickers and I think "Republican".

    Maybe because my wife and I lived in overseas countries during my working career, I have a different perspective. As American expatriates, we felt like we were citizen diplomats and tried to blend in with the populace of the countries we lived in being sensitive and respectful to their customs and laws, and certainly not calling attention to ourselves. That's not always the case with the stereotype of the "American tourist" who often can came across as brash and loud.

    When I am forced to cite the Pledge of Allegiance at an event, I cynically say "and to the Republicans for which it stands" instead of Republic. It just seems that the Republicans have hijacked the American flag and America patriotism to make it THEIR brand.

    It goes with the so called "American Exceptionalism" theme that Republicans seem to be caught up in. Romancing the past and opposing any threat to that such as immigration reform.

    I appreciate America for many of it's positives, such as generosity to those in need. The Truthout article above, Do the Poor "Have It Easy?" Most Republicans Say Yes, They Do, says it all.

    "Inherently, in the conservative mindset, poor and lazy are inter-changeable, and one simply would not be poor if he or she would work harder. It’s a belief system that ignores the basic realities that poverty imposes one generation after the next, as well as the given disadvantages that cycle on top of each other such as violence, lack of food and medical care, lack of permanence in housing, lack of access to good schools and quality education, and, because of all of these things, lack of access to good jobs with living wages. "

    Those used to be things that America embraced. But with those attitudes against the poor being more and more pervasive in much of the American populace, how indeed can we embrace patriotism? I believe Fox News, for one, shares much of the responsibility for pushing this brand of hyper patriotism. And if one looks at Lawrence Britt's 14 Characteristics of Fascism, Number 1 on the list is as follows:

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
    Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.


    In fact the other 13 characteristics kind of fit the trends as well, but I'll quit now...
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    Dutch Wrote: I've got the feeling here; the more flags you wave and the more hot dogs you eat, that such means "patriotism" then on top of that the more ribbons and christmas junk on your uniform the better this country is protected. I know another country who waved a lot of flags and was militaristic. What happened to that country?
    Ha, I believe the Allied troops beat them in WW II.
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    Schmidt Wrote: Troy -- I don't know that it is just young people that are becoming less patriotic. I am 67 years old and I cringe at much of the "hyper-patriotism" being exhibited by our population. I found it extremely distasteful for that group in Murrieta, California blocking the Homeland Security bus of children and parents to be waving American flags and chanting USA! USA! like they were at an international sporting event.

    In fact I find all the USA! USA! chants at international sporting events like the World Cup to be distasteful. And ditto for American Olympic athletes wrapping themselves in an American flag and taking a lap after a victory. It's excessive patriotism.

    When I used to attend baseball games, we would sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at the 7th inning stretch. Now they sing "America the Beautiful". When did that all change?

    It goes with all those "obligatory" yellow ribbon stickers on the back of cars that say we support our troops. I don't need to advertize my patriotism by putting those stickers on my car. I see those stickers and I think "Republican".

    Maybe because my wife and I lived in overseas countries during my working career, I have a different perspective. As American expatriates, we felt like we were citizen diplomats and tried to blend in with the populace of the countries we lived in being sensitive and respectful to their customs and laws, and certainly not calling attention to ourselves. That's not always the case with the stereotype of the "American tourist" who often can came across as brash and loud.

    When I am forced to cite the Pledge of Allegiance at an event, I cynically say "and to the Republicans for which it stands" instead of Republic. It just seems that the Republicans have hijacked the American flag and America patriotism to make it THEIR brand.

    It goes with the so called "American Exceptionalism" theme that Republicans seem to be caught up in. Romancing the past and opposing any threat to that such as immigration reform.

    I appreciate America for many of it's positives, such as generosity to those in need. The Truthout article above, Do the Poor "Have It Easy?" Most Republicans Say Yes, They Do, says it all.

    "Inherently, in the conservative mindset, poor and lazy are inter-changeable, and one simply would not be poor if he or she would work harder. It’s a belief system that ignores the basic realities that poverty imposes one generation after the next, as well as the given disadvantages that cycle on top of each other such as violence, lack of food and medical care, lack of permanence in housing, lack of access to good schools and quality education, and, because of all of these things, lack of access to good jobs with living wages. "

    Those used to be things that America embraced. But with those attitudes against the poor being more and more pervasive in much of the American populace, how indeed can we embrace patriotism? I believe Fox News, for one, shares much of the responsibility for pushing this brand of hyper patriotism. And if one looks at Lawrence Britt's 14 Characteristics of Fascism, Number 1 on the list is as follows:

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
    Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.


    In fact the other 13 characteristics kind of fit the trends as well, but I'll quit now...
    I don't mind so much when countries say the name of their own country during a game. It's not like they are doing the Redskins' Native American chant. However, according to flag etiquette, you're not even supposed to wear the flag like that during a game. It's actually, technically, UNpatriotic to do that. You are supposed to run while holding it or having it on a stick and running.

    I read that article about how Republicans think the poor have it easy. It is.. something else, to say the least. It must be a rough life, living with a community who looks and acts the exact same as you, all with money and nice houses. Actually, some of that does sound pretty terrible to me. Haha

    I remember a statistic, said something like. We are #1 in confidence, but #9 or some high number, in performance.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Schmidt "Take me out to the Ballgame" changed to "America the Beautiful" right after 9-11.

    Not all teams do it. The Cubs still sing Take me out to the Ballgame, I don't know if they changed, then changed back or if they sing America the Beautiful as well as the Take me out to the Ballgame that they are so famous for.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: Troy -- I don't know that it is just young people that are becoming less patriotic. I am 67 years old and I cringe at much of the "hyper-patriotism" being exhibited by our population. I found it extremely distasteful for that group in Murrieta, California blocking the Homeland Security bus of children and parents to be waving American flags and chanting USA! USA! like they were at an international sporting event.

    In fact I find all the USA! USA! chants at international sporting events like the World Cup to be distasteful. And ditto for American Olympic athletes wrapping themselves in an American flag and taking a lap after a victory. It's excessive patriotism.

    When I used to attend baseball games, we would sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at the 7th inning stretch. Now they sing "America the Beautiful". When did that all change?

    It goes with all those "obligatory" yellow ribbon stickers on the back of cars that say we support our troops. I don't need to advertize my patriotism by putting those stickers on my car. I see those stickers and I think "Republican".

    Maybe because my wife and I lived in overseas countries during my working career, I have a different perspective. As American expatriates, we felt like we were citizen diplomats and tried to blend in with the populace of the countries we lived in being sensitive and respectful to their customs and laws, and certainly not calling attention to ourselves. That's not always the case with the stereotype of the "American tourist" who often can came across as brash and loud.

    When I am forced to cite the Pledge of Allegiance at an event, I cynically say "and to the Republicans for which it stands" instead of Republic. It just seems that the Republicans have hijacked the American flag and America patriotism to make it THEIR brand.

    It goes with the so called "American Exceptionalism" theme that Republicans seem to be caught up in. Romancing the past and opposing any threat to that such as immigration reform.

    I appreciate America for many of it's positives, such as generosity to those in need. The Truthout article above, Do the Poor "Have It Easy?" Most Republicans Say Yes, They Do, says it all.

    "Inherently, in the conservative mindset, poor and lazy are inter-changeable, and one simply would not be poor if he or she would work harder. It’s a belief system that ignores the basic realities that poverty imposes one generation after the next, as well as the given disadvantages that cycle on top of each other such as violence, lack of food and medical care, lack of permanence in housing, lack of access to good schools and quality education, and, because of all of these things, lack of access to good jobs with living wages. "

    Those used to be things that America embraced. But with those attitudes against the poor being more and more pervasive in much of the American populace, how indeed can we embrace patriotism? I believe Fox News, for one, shares much of the responsibility for pushing this brand of hyper patriotism. And if one looks at Lawrence Britt's 14 Characteristics of Fascism, Number 1 on the list is as follows:

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
    Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.


    In fact the other 13 characteristics kind of fit the trends as well, but I'll quit now...
    Yes my feelings are the same; is it may be a bit of inferiority complex? Countries who are run properly do not advertise it like here; somehow all the US flag waving, does not mean a country is run properly or the poor have food or a roof over their head. Or is it more or less a sign of a cover-up?
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    It seems to be more about how we grew up, being told that we are the greatest in the world and that all these great things happened in the past because of the USA....we are God's chosen country, etc.

    I think it is a good thing to love your country. I love the USA, but I don't love how we have to lie about what we've done in the past to trick ourselves into loving what we do now. I notice the Red states are quite guilty of this behavior. Historically, both parties have done this, but not on the same scale. Currently, I don't personally know any Liberals who tell their kids " Oh, America is what it is today because Native Americans just sorta left after we all became friends, we personally ended both campaigns in WW II, we are the greatest country on Earth!, etc."

    All this, I have literally heard in more than a dozen Conservative households. As far as they're concerned, there is no other country worth going to.. because God only loves us. Also, I've been kicked out of a few of those households. haha
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Most people don't want to hear the truth or facts they would rather let Fox News tell them how wonderful they are instead ;(
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    That is correct for at least half of the country. Have you seen Anchorman 2? Might not be your thing, but it's about the birth of Fox News style coverage. There is a line in this movie, which I'll be paraphrasing from memory... Will Ferrell's character says "How about we don't give them the news they need to hear... how about we give them the news they want to hear?"

    I think that, for the most part, sums up Fox News.

    However, did you see the Dick Cheney interview that Megyn Kelly did? I was actually pretty surprised she was allowed to ask those questions to him. Still, overall, a terrible company.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Troy -- You are right about Fox News...it is telling their viewing base "what they want to hear". That's why they cut away from President Obama speeches when he gets into "uncomfortable" areas, and continually have a line up of guests that makes their base feel good, no matter how untrue. For Fox News it is largely about making money, but also pushing a conservative "patriotic" agenda that is seemingly never challenged. The closest that they have in that regard is Shepard Smith, who doesn't always toe the Roger Ailes line.

    I would not mind it if they actually featured some real intellectual conservatives from time to time. Conservatives like William F. Buckley, Jr are non-existent in the Fox News world. George Will doesn't fill those shoes as he is guilty of many mistakes and hypocrisy lately in pandering to the same base.

    And their featuring of their women "journalists" to deliberately show their legs in front of the camera is just another tactic to appeal to their base, which is largely old white men.
  • Democrat
    Oregon
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    Schmidt Wrote:And their featuring of their women "journalists" to deliberately show their legs in front of the camera is just another tactic to appeal to their base, which is largely old white men.
    Yes, they seem to do a good job at pandering to old white dudes. I know some older guys, and younger guys, who watch Fox News, but mute the audio.
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    As a nation (or its govt) becomes more "fascist" -- they seem to get more patriotic in their music, speech, etc. It is part of the total public "brain-washing" going on, to make them all obsessed with doing as they are told, to feel it is their duty to the Fatherland, it is definitely part of the Nazi and other right-wing mindsets. Music is a powerful tool in mind-control. Just look at Nazi Germany for instance. It seems to be that the more "suppressed" the people are, the more music is deployed to let them express themselves as patriots, even if they are being personally destroyed.

    As the GOP has become more hard-core right-wing, they have upped the amperage of their music, & increased the loudness of their voices at rallies, etc. Apparently the loudness & emotionality of the music prevents significant thought, but just lets the emotions flow freely. Group singing promotes a feeling of unity among the people, (like just one big family), & so they won't feel inclined to protest against them.

    Mindless slogans, repeated loudly, over and over, replace deep & sincere thought -- wiping out all need for thinking, even the most dumb of the dumb feel a part of the crowd, as long as they can memorize a few of their repetitious childish slogans. The GOP thrives on getting lots of low-caliber people involved, (the "sheeple") who are mostly followers, not capable of ever being a leader. People who can be easily brain-washed, manipulated, flattered, or controlled make good Republican clones. Anyone with careful "rational" thought, could not be comfortable hearing all the total BS being shouted at the audiences of the GOP or Tea Party. Their followers are mostly like brain-dead robots, being constantly re-hypnotized into action.