Patriotism In Its Truest Form

Patriotism towards a country is constantly wanting it to be a better place for the people living there.

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Patriotism in its truest form is working towards a better future for the country and accepting that change is necessary.

“If you don’t like it here, leave.” This has become a mantra for many in the Republican party whenever those on the left criticize anything about their platform including how the government should be run and how social issues should be dealt with. Both parties find issues with the other side, but it’s rare to hear the Democrats recommend that others leave if they are not happy with the current situation.

Saying that people should leave our country because they are not perfectly satisfied with how it is run is unpatriotic in every way. It dismisses the idea of parties working together in a bipartisan effort to eventually come to a solution where each side can work towards a common goal- Americans’ overall happiness and equality. It suggests that rather than cooperating to make the United States a better place, we should settle with its problems and do nothing to help people who are suffering. 

Donald Trump built his 2016 campaign off of a slogan- ‘Make American Great Again’. Although it is unclear when America was truly great for everyone here, the slogan implied that America needed to be fixed and that it wasn’t completely great. It indicated that Trump was not content with the current state of America. This shows that there are things that the current Republican party doesn’t like about this country.

It is our responsibility to make it great, and the first step in doing this is accepting that it is not already perfect.”

Liberals and conservatives differ on what kind of rights same-sex couples should have. According to the Pew Research Center, only 44% of Republicans/people who lean Republican favor same-sex marriage. This number has slowly increased year by year, but it is still not very high. 

The United States federally legalized same-sex marriage in 2015. With the mindset of leaving because of dissatisfaction with the country and its government’s decisions, they could go to countries that implement the death penalty for same-sex sexual acts like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iran. 

Another example of what the Republican party is very dissatisfied with is abortion laws. In fact, one of the number one issues cited by those who lean to the right is that of America’s abortion laws. According to Gallup “Pro-Choice” or “Pro-Life,” 2018-2019 Demographic Tables, 75% of people who identify as Republican are pro-life, and 68% of those who lean towards being Republican are pro-life. 

But because of 1973 Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade that ruled banning or heavily regulating abortion as unconstitutional and a violation of one’s right to liberty, they aren’t getting what they want. They are not happy with this aspect of our country, so they protest against it through things like the March For Life.

If Democrats had the same idea of “If you don’t like it here, leave,” they would say that these people fighting against abortion rights should go to places where abortion is prohibited altogether like Iraq, Nicaragua, or Angola, or places where abortions are only legal to save the woman’s life like in South Sudan, Iran, or Afghanistan. 

Marriage equality has ultimately led to a more inclusive society for all Americans. The issue of abortion is complicated because there is no consensus as to when life begins in the global scientific community.

Women could have left. People of color that have been marginalized could have left. But they stayed and fought for themselves and others. ”

The people that are being told to leave the country, though, are the ones who want to make it a better place and recognize that this has benefited other developed countries. From healthcare reform to pushing for action towards an inhabitable planet for future generations due to this country largely being at fault for the consequences of man-made climate change, they are being told to leave simply because they are frustrated with how things are currently being run.

Patriotism isn’t just following a system because that is what you are used to or believing in things blindly in order to fit into a box. For example, COVID-19 is a serious issue and we cannot take it lightly just to fit into a supposedly set-in-stone belief system that everything will work out just because our country is “the best.”

The beauty of the United States of America is that positive change can be made. There have been a number of achievements for those working toward equality for their communities and minorities/different groups that have been marginalized throughout our country’s history. 

Now, it is quite often that when liberals demand rights for immigrants or immigrants and refugees ask for rights, they hear “if you don’t like it here, leave.” Women could have left. People of color that have been marginalized could have left. But they stayed and fought for themselves and others. 

This is what has and will continue to make our country better. Not spreading hatred and telling Congresswomen and their supporters to leave because they want to improve the lives of millions of people. Not spreading lies to instill fear in people who don’t know any better.

If you love America, you should want to see it change for the better, and you should not expect people to settle with the injustices that people in this country deal with just because their beliefs don’t perfectly align with yours.

It is our responsibility to make it great, and the first step in doing this is accepting that it is not already perfect.