From time to time I have encounters with fellow American citizens who faithfully display their Fourth of July & Memorial Day flags. It is ostensibly a show of patriotism but I wonder. As I have grown older and wiser, in my mind anyway, I believe the attitude of "America- Love It or Leave It" is a slogan that no longer applies or, perhaps, should never been used in the first place. What does a citizen mean when they say we are obligated to love one's country else hit the border and not return? The United States of America has many reasons for it's citizens to feel patriotic. But it also has many reasons for it's citizens to rightly drop their collective heads in shame. Our treatment of the American Indians, American Japanese, African Americans, members of the LGBT community, non-Abrahamic faith groups, atheists, etc has left a lingering question mark on the societal engine that drives this country. Would many of the disservices to entire classes of people not been eradicated sooner without this "love it or leave it" attitude? Do we not have a responsibility to seek change and never become jaded with the status quo? Living in the deep south of America gives me opportunity to see firsthand the ongoing mindset of many locals, still flying their Rebel flags in the front yard, that "the South will rise again." What the hell does that mean? If given the opportunity would we revert back to the days of slavery and white bigotry?
I feel compelled to challenge these "Love It or Leave It" citizens to define and justify their position or stance. Our country's citizens should not be pigeonholed into accepting things as they are and damned be those who dare speak up. Thankfully our culture is changing, albeit too slowly, and hopefully we can cast off these attitudes that seem to have their foundations in illogical religious dogma.
Should not the new slogan of our country rather be "America - Love It Through Change"?
I wholeheartedly agree.
I love my country but I never confuse patriotism for jingoism.
"I never confuse patriotism for jingoism"
How, in practise, do they differ - aside from one word being complimentary and the other one being pejorative.
In practice, Tea Party style, both are pejorative. In a dictionary they differ.
TPers insist they are patriots and many have shown us how badly they behave.
One example of many: those on TV who shouted to ill people without health insurance, "Die!"
Another from 1940, before the TPs. When SCOTUS told the Jehovah Winesses their school-age children must pledge allegiance to the flag, and the JW's started their own school system, local "patriots" beat JW men and burned JW-owned buildings. The violence was so awful that some of the parties to the case who favored the Pledge asked SCOTUS to reverse. In 1943, in the heat of WW2, SCOTUS did reverse.
A more intellectual example. When Ruth Bader Ginsberg on SCOTUS said she admired the South African Constitution, the TPers howled their outrage.
I've read the European Charter, and without having read the SA Constitution I will bet a few dollars that on paper and in practice it provides more democracy and more civil liberties than the US Constitution.
I'm a long way from jingoism, and to someone who says I'm a patriot I will say "Don't call me that!"
Speaking of Constitutions and dictionary definitions of such, we in New Zealand are in the process of discussing this very thing. According to this website, "New Zealand has a constitution – it’s just not all written down in a single document." My submission takes issue with this. While some dictionary definitions contend (or imply) that a constitution need not be written, I say there is little or no point if it's not. The language of the discussion makes it clear that, although there is nothing to indicate what constitutes this "constitution", it is nevertheless considered to exist. With this language as its basis, I hold little hope of a useful outcome.
A verbal agreement isn't worth the paper it's written on.
The oft-mentioned English constitution is also unwritten. Any Parliament may amend it.
Incidentally, Parliament's authority on procedures (on how decisions are made) by Thomas May is a HUGE book. Half of one page lists the many names members may not call each other.
"The oft-mentioned English constitution is also unwritten. Any Parliament may amend it."
Else, amend WHAT?
Amend the unwritten English constitution!
The US Constitution's being written is no requirement that the constitutions of other nations be written.
Heck, in England before about 1550, it was illegal to record the decisions of Parliament. One history of those times said the only records of those early years are in the personal letters that members of Parliament wrote.
As to amending an unwritten document, I read years ago that one historian said that before the new American nation adopted the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, there was a short period when there was no written authority for the nation. From that, he reasoned that there was no nation.
I was at the time reading Galloway's History of the House of Representatives and Asher Hinds' Precedents of the House of Representatives and thought the idea so preposterous that I didn't put it in the notes I was keeping.
" before the new American nation adopted the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, there was a short period when there was no written authority for the nation. From that, he reasoned that there was no nation."
I agree with this. And it reinforces my question, "What's to love"? What IS a nation? America is SO diverse that any two citizens may have NOTHING in common except their humanity and the laws that govern them. How can this be something about which people bond in patriotism?
It is about the 'abstraction' not the 'reality'. Sadly, I find it very hard to commit to an abstraction. Maybe at some level I am sexist, dang...
I love the land. America has some fantastic natural beauty. Since I have been in communication with people from other countries, mostly in the UK and Europe, I am disgusted and saddened by many aspects of life in America. To be fair though I am grateful for not being in one of any number of other countries where the life expectancy is considerably lower because of famine, disease, war, poor medical care, etc.
I feel less and less allegiance to the U.S. as I get older. If I didn't have responsibilities here I think I would go somewhere else where they seem to know how to live better. I know that nowhere is perfect but damn, when I was in Spain I think I gained about a year on my life from my peaceful 10 days there. Alas, my life is here for now and into the foreseeable future.
Mind you, I am an educated professional, living in a relatively peaceful, safe, and affluent area. I know I have it better than many millions of fellow Americans. I can't speak for them but I can only think I'd be a whole lot more dissatisfied of I were in more difficult circumstances.
It's a childish thing to say. A black-and-white, all-or-nothing view of everything is evidence of a limited and retarded mind. Stuff like this usually comes from the same people who, when you make a point about something, have to exaggerate your argument to the very extremes.
Sane Individual: "I don't think drugs should be illegal."
Stupid Individual: "Ooooh so you think children should use heroin too?!"