There seems to be a sentiment on the left side of the political spectrum that support of one's country in the way of patriotism is not warranted. On the contrary we should I guess be embarrassed by our country's actions in the past. I do believe our country has made some bad decisions over the years. There is no doubt about that. And I am even ashamed by some of our actions: treatment of the American Indians, slavery, detainment of Japanese Americans during World War II. But does there not still remain many things about this nation that makes one swell with pride? When I visited the French memorial to the American soldier in Normandy many years ago I was awestruck. The nearly 10,000 crosses have a visual impact I will never forget. Included there is the son of former President Teddy Roosevelt. The French are grateful for the contribution our country made to freeing Europe from the clutches of nazism. Or when I watched the first man in history to set foot on the moon, an American. No other nation in the world has come close to the U.S. outpouring of money and resources to aid victims of natural disasters throughout the world. When we beat the Russians in hockey at the 1980 Winter Olympics as a huge underdog. These are all proud moments for me.
The point I'm making is that patriotism does indeed still have it's place in the mindset of all Americans. An American flag hangs from the ceiling of my workshop. That flag represents to me all that is right with America. I am proud to be a citizen of this nation despite it's shortcomings. So what would be a good argument to take that flag down and remove that pride that resides in my heart? We have made mistakes and I can only hope that you, the younger generations, can learn from those mistakes and make our country a place that you can also feel patriotic towards.
That merely claiming conscientious objector status somehow relieves you of duty.
I see. I've never made that claim. I've never argued that position.
Then I misread/interpreted you and apologize. :)
No worries. Just trying to break my habit of stubbornly arguing things without making sure we're all on the same page first.
Thank you. I believe we are pretty much on the same page, sans perhaps communication issues. :)
I think it should be noted that the OPs (Dale) initial statements are still invalid. If I recall correctly, both sides of the US Civil War had conscription in a time well before conscientious objection became accepted. This essentially implies you being faced with the option of fighting whichever enemy your state points at or be charged with treason. I sincerely doubt large numbers, if any, potential soldiers of the confederate states used it successfully as an objection to serving.
Additionally, it is today not exactly something which you can merely claim without tangible evidence - it applies only to those who actually have a sincere objection. Being ideologically against a specific conflict or unfavorable to your country's foreign policy does not count. It seems as if Dale would perhaps raise weapons against the Nazis or confederates, thus he is not a conscientious objector, merely an ideological one.
I have a strong respect and sympathy of the institution of conscientious objection. Unfortunately, I do go on the offensive when I perceive it being misused as an excuse for egotistical aims.
Today, the vast majority of regretful Germans disavow their grandfathers' deluded expression of Teutonic warrior superiority.
I'm not sure where you're getting this 'vast majority' from. I've certainly never disavowed any of my family from the WWII generation or their views. Half of them were German. They were just ordinary people. Those that fought were just ordinary soldiers, fighting for their country. They certainly weren't part of any anti-Nazi resistance front, but that doesn't mean they were marching lock-step with the propaganda either. I have no idea what the political mindset of the average German was in that time frame, but it seems like you're depicting the Germans of the time as frothing-at-the-mouth Hitlerites. Seems kind of one-dimensional and unlikely.
"We should love our fellow Americans, but no more than we should love ALL people in the world."
I think the word love is a little strong for my tastes. I respect EVERYONE as an individual until they give me just cause to do otherwise. I can count on both hands those that I love.
As to patriotic duty in the sense of serving one's country in time of war I am of mixed emotions. I do not entirely agree with our involvement in past and present military operations. The justification of some is on shaky ground at best. But in the instance of WWII for example there was an undeniable threat to world peace. If we had chosen not to get involved the outcome of that decision would of been undeniably catastrophic. If America's sons had chosen to turn their collective backs on the call to service what would that have said about us as a principled democratic nation? Should we adopt a policy of isolationism and tell the rest of the world their on their own? Kuwait would of certainly been disappointed by that call.
No one is supporting blind patriotism to country. If something stinks then we have a right to say so.
"The "outpouring" of money for foreign disasters doesn't come from some institutional sense of compassion existing in the American governmental, historical, economic framework; it is caring PEOPLE helping suffering PEOPLE who donate."
Exactly! It's the people of our nation who care. We have demonstrated that time and again. You place too much emphasis on government(s). It's the individuals of this country working as a collective that makes it great. I have as much of a hard-on for big government as the next guy. In a utopian world there would be no governments, no chiefs, no lords, no presidents, and no kings. For it is these very positions of power that seem to necessitate the need for dominion, or even dominance, over others. The common man anywhere on this planet is not interested in the lofty goals of power mongers. But we do have to accept the reality of man's inability to avoid killing one another. War is the scourge of mankind, unfortunately.
"What our "Plegde of Allegiance:" should say is, "I pledge allegiance to my fellow man...""
Why is that necessary? What has my fellow man done to deserve my allegiance necessarily? Allegiance is a strong word. I can go with respect but there I draw the line.