Dictionary.com defines a patriot as:
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, esp. of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
Point 2 struck me like a brick to the face. I think we would all agree that most people who call themselves patriots don’t really know what it means
to be a patriot.
“It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.”
“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”
“In the beginning of a change, the Patriot is a scarce man, Brave, Hated, and Scorned. When his cause succeeds however, the timid join him, For then
it costs nothing to be a Patriot.”
“The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and
decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.”
Although patriotism is presently used in certain vernaculars as a synonym for nationalism, nationalism is not considered an inherent part of
patriotism. Among the ancient Greeks, patriotism is comprised of notions concerning language, religious traditions, ethics, law and devotion to the
common good, rather than pure identification with a nation-state.
Patriotism does not require one to agree with everything that his country does and would actually promote analytical questioning in a quest to make
the country the best it possibly can be.
Socrates was a true patriot, scrutinizing the powers as they went to war. Socrates was executed for his patriotism.
Today, true patriots are thin on the ground, as is the nature of patriotism. IMHO, Ron Paul proved himself a patriot when he said “-but you can’t
enforce our goodness, like the neo-cons preach, with an armed force, it doesn’t work. Woodrow Wilson was telling us that in promoting democracy a
long time ago. It doesn’t work and we have to admit it.”
When I heard that, I begun to think: If a person in a position power can’t make an admission to being wrong and, out of pride, continues to pretend
that they are right, then that person does not deserve that power. It’s better to have someone who does make mistakes in power than someone who does
not make mistakes because everybody makes mistakes but not everyone can humbly admit it.
Somebody once said that no matter how much you love that pickup, you have to identify the flat tyre.
I’m not peddling Ron Paul here but rather, the distinction between patriotism and national pride.
Who are the modern patriots?
[edit on 9/10/2008 by Good Wolf]