Patriotism in Today’s America

When hateful ideology becomes something to be proud of.

Armed+protestors+in+Michigan+demand+Governor+Whitmer+to+lift+the+lockdown.

The Guardian

Armed protestors in Michigan demand Governor Whitmer to lift the lockdown.

Freedom. 

That single word has been our core value, the justification for every action in America since the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776. 

It’s the thing Americans pride themselves the most over‒we can speak our opinions freely, we can worship whatever we want freely, and we can wield our guns around freely like it’s something to be proud of.

If I’m being honest, I never understood the concept of patriotism. It’s not like you did anything special to be born in America, you just were by chance. You’re no different from those born in third-world countries. 

Why do people defend America to death like it benefits them? The government is not going to reward you for telling someone America is the greatest country in the world. They don’t actually care about you. Why do you worship American soil like America is the savior of the world? 

I thought we got rid of this imperialist mindset a hundred years ago. America is the greatest country because, what, we let soldiers die in the name of profit for oil companies? No one has died to protect our freedoms since World War II. 

Why do you defend a country that values climbing to the top by stepping on others and not helping those at the bottom? We call those who were born into privilege and handed everything on a silver platter our heroes and mock those who work hard at two minimum wage jobs just to support themselves. 

Why do people defend capitalism like it benefits them? You do realize, no matter how much you work, you’ll never be part of the 1%, right? Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk do not care about you. Jeff Bezos could end world hunger twice a year. He just chooses not to. Oh, and he’d still have more money than any of us could imagine. 

Sure, technically that is his money and no one can force him to give even a tiny fraction of it away. But that money was made off the backs of workers treated like robots in sweatshops. Also, when did it become so controversial to expect decent morals from people? The fact that American society is cutthroat and ruthless isn’t something to pride yourselves over. 

I just don’t get it. Why do you care so much that you just happened to be born into a country where our basic freedoms aren’t infringed upon? Yes, of course, there are countries worse off than America, but America isn’t the end all be all when it comes to freedoms. 

In fact, America is pretty behind when it comes to healthcare and education compared to other developed countries. America is the only developed country without universal healthcare. America is one of the most expensive countries in the world when it comes to college tuition. 

I don’t get how someone can think owning a gun is more of a human right than having access to healthcare.

The hypocrisy is what I find the worst about patriotism. People pick and choose when they decide freedom applies. 

They say it’s a person’s right to deny service to a gay couple. They say they have the right to control what women do with their bodies. 

But when the government orders them to wear a mask during a global pandemic to protect themselves and others, they decide that’s infringing on their rights? 

In fact, people are now protesting against safety guidelines for the coronavirus pandemic. Dozens of people have marched up to government buildings chanting “USA” and blasting “Sweet Home Alabama”.

How ignorant does one have to be to do that?

First of all, what is chanting “USA” at a virus going to do? Make it go away? It’s barbaric.

Second of all, I don’t understand how these people can’t grasp that safety procedures exist for their safety. There is a literal global pandemic happening right now. I don’t understand how a person could see the death tolls go up every day and think their right to get a haircut is more important than the actual lives of people. 

They say that governors who aren’t opening their states back up don’t care about America. But I say that the people who truly care about America are the ones willing to stay home to protect the lives of Americans, not the ones protesting to protect the American economy.

What’s so great about a country that prioritizes the economy over actual human beings?

Thousands of people are dying, but oh, thank goodness, the Dow Jones is looking good today. Phew. 

Colin Kaepernick was shamed and ridiculed for simply kneeling in protest over the treatment of black people. These people, in the name of “freedom,” are violently marching up to a government building with guns because they’re bored of staying home.

And let’s be real. If it was a group of African Americans marching up to the government buildings chanting and blasting music like that, they all would have been arrested or even shot

“Just obey authority”, they say when another black person is murdered by cops. 

“Just obey authority,” they say when they see children trapped in cages at the border.

I guess that doesn’t apply to them when they want to protest for their right to eat inside restaurants.

They tell immigrant families being held at detention centers that they should’ve come to the US legally or just not at all.

But I think if they can’t even handle 30 days in the comfort of their own homes to protect themselves from a deadly virus, they definitely would not survive in the conditions of third world countries immigrants are fleeing from.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not very proud of a country where people lack access to basic healthcare, where refugees are turned away, where black people are shot by cops in their own homes, and where people are just barely scraping by while someone else is simultaneously about to become the first trillionaire in the world. 

Patriotic people hold onto the Constitution like their life depends on it. They treat a document a series of old white men wrote back in the 1700’s as if it’s their Bible. Oh, children are being shot in schools? But the second amendment says we have the right to bear arms.

I just don’t understand how someone can be proud of a country that values primal beliefs from hundreds of years ago more than the people that live in it now. 

We should be proud of the progress our country has made, all the way from the civil rights movement to gay marriage being legalized in 2015, not false patriotism built upon imperialistic ideology, corporate greed, and oppression.

We should be proud of the progress our country has made… not false patriotism built upon imperialistic ideology, corporate greed, and oppression. ”

Patriotism should be celebrating all the people in the country, regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. Patriotism should be wanting to see change happen in the country to guarantee equity for all, not just an empty chant of hate.