Friday, June 03, 2005

Patriotism

Here's a post with some heavy issues.
What is patriotism? In the dictionary it is called a love and zealous support for one's country. Zeal is defined as intense enthusiasm, ardor, fervor and therefore passion. I bring this up because I have questioned whether I can consider myself patriotic considering my disagreements with the actions taken by the US government and the views expressed by many citizens in the US. Here are my two main sticking points.

First, I believe it was not correct to go into Iraq without a few other major world nations. I believe the world should act together. Going to war should be the last resort. Bush says it was and all other possibilities were exhausted, but I can't say I believe him. The main reason for going to war was to stop the spread of terrorism. Another reason for going to war, if you believe Fahrenheit 911, that it was Bush wanted the oil and to finish what his dad started. I find it very hard now to believe that any action by the government does not have a hidden motive. In Bush's case, it seems everything is directed toward the betterment of big business. War means defense contracts. A war in Iraq means access to their oil supply. They hide behind conservative values and small government, but I believe that is primary motive.

Second, I believe that many people in the US have become xenophobic after 9/11. People seem to have become less accepting of people different from them. I find it disturbing that so many had this reaction. Society had been slowly moving toward acceptance of others, and that event pushed everyone back a few steps. Also, judging by the past election, I do not agree with the values of half the US. The country seems divided sharply between conservative and liberal.

So the question is, can I be patriotic given the two points above? I guess another question is whether being patriotic also means being proud to be an American? Can I be proud to be an American if I don't agree with the foreign policy of the government? The war only reaffirmed the view by many in the world that the US is war hungry or a heavy fisted police power. And if I don't agree with the general psyche of the average American, can I be proud to be an American. I am very proud to be from Chicago and of my family and friends even though we do not share the same views. I am proud of the university that I went to even though I'm sure I don't have the same views as everyone who went there. So can that logic apply to my country. Granted, my family, friends, school, and city did not go to war.

2 comments:

jppalma29 said...

I have to agree with your assessment concerning bush's greed, as well as the greed of big business; however, a careful consideration of the ever evolving geoploitical scene--the economic rise of russia, india, china and the necessity of oil to fuel their growth--demands that we carefully consider the impact of dwindling resources upon the US. How do we safeguard our (albeit horribly consumptive) way of life?

Anonymous said...

I think that, on the whole, patriotism does more harm than good. (I'm Canadian.) The in-your-face patriotism that Americans exhibit is such a turn off. I hate even seeing it in movies.