posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 04:32 PM
I'm a Cold War baby, born in 1953. I lived in a "normal" suburban neighborhood, and my family was "patriotic" without real obvious displays. My
family supported Goldwater in 1964, which made us conservative, but in the Southeast, that wasn't too unusual. People did not have American flags on
their cars - we knew where we lived. During elections, I saw very few bumper stickers for anybody - usually they were local candidates and the cars
belonged to the candidate's family. Everybody said the pledge of allegiance in school, even Jeff, my friend the "red-diaper" baby. There was a
draft, and there was always the chance that a nuclear war would start any minute.
We lived about twelve air-miles from a large SAC base housing nuclear bombers, but we weren't militaristic at all. When we sang about America, it
was about Purple Mountains, and Amber Waves of Grain.
Now you aren't "patriotic" unless you "support the mission", which can be any dumbass thing a half-educated President sells to Congress. Today,
we as a nation are in far less danger than we were in 1959 or 1963, and yet it seems that "Middle America" has gone stark-raving mad with zelous
militaristic xenophobia. I say this as someone who has put in 22 yrs. of professional military and civilian intelligence service. The military
hasn't really changed much, but the civilian "supporters" certainly have. A career naval officer told me recently that he thinks the nation has
simply gone nuts. I wish I had arguments against that.
If you were born after 1970, how do you define patriotism?