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Social Commentary - July 4, 2012 - U.S. Patriotism Gone Awry

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posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 01:45 PM
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If you have enough ‘friends,’ Facebook can be an amazing social gauge. Having fortunately met a wide range of people through my work and travels, I have amassed over 600 FB ‘friends.’ Conservatives and Liberals, people of all races and religions from every corner of the nation and beyond. I’m not sure where that puts me on the Facebook user bell curve; however, I am among the mere 30% of American citizens who have a U.S. Passport, which means I’ve been able to travel to exotic places like Texarkana to actually meet people.

I found myself wading through Facebook mid-afternoon July 4, finding familiar faces smiling from backyard barbeques, hands full with plates of ribs and slaw, celebrating our Day of Independence. And interspersed with those revelers were several various patriotic FB posts; stock photos of soldiers and flags, and implorations that we spend the day properly honoring servicemen and women who sacrifice daily for the freedoms we enjoy, apparently because Independence Day is the new Veterans Day.



It didn’t used to be this way. When I was growing up, Independence Day was about celebrating the nation’s birthday, usually with cake. That was after decades of relative peace, however. And let’s face it, our militaries become much more palatable when we dress them up in red white and blue bunting and smother them with BBQ sauce. Most Americans prefer not to think about the military during the other 363 days of the year, and especially not about what those camouflaged agents of the U.S. are doing on a day-to-day basis - like latrine duty, or worse.







The fireworks display event I went to that evening was a bland affair, where those who buy tickets get to rub shoulders with celebrities while waiting in long lines for remarkably awful food, or browsing famous and exotic cars, all the while surrounded by bands of hired SCA actors inexplicably dressed as 17th century pirates. We found Al Pacino looking short and impossibly tan near the kiddies bounce houses.



The main event firework show, attended by thousands and populated by songs like the National Anthem (which few sang along to), “I’m Proud To Be An American”, and the hymn “Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory” (a Christian hymn), seemed filled with misappropriated nationalistic ideals and ties to religious beliefs. A British friend in attendance was appalled that so few were singing along with our National Anthem. The irony was pretty thick.



I departed into that July 4 night feeling a lot like I’d felt a couple weeks earlier, when I walked out of the movie theater after seeing "Prometheus". At each I’d just seen a spectacular display, but the characters and meanings behind them were so muddled and ill conceived as to make the events themselves meaningless.

Of course, "Prometheus" was just a movie. Independence Day is the most important national holiday the United States celebrates. How did we get here?

America today seems a country so divided that it's lost its national character. A nation of extremisms and apathies. A citizenry largely so disillusioned (and perhaps under-educated) that we prefer the indulgences of our bread and circuses to the challenges of being made to think for ourselves. And yet, if anyone should challenge us or our beliefs, they are likely deemed unpatriotic or even anti-American.



This isn't how it was imagined to be at the start. What's clear from my Independence Day experience is; we've forgotten this.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."






posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 01:54 PM
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So how do we the people reform and reestablish said gov. the only way I see change is another civil war. Does it take one to say no to the gov. do I have to tell a higher official that the government has no more control over me and I'll live my life the way I see fit. Man made laws are what they are, man made.

How much of the population does it take to abolish and reform?



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by Exsisto
 


Very well said, my friend!!



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by mytheroy
So how do we the people reform and reestablish said gov. the only way I see change is another civil war. Does it take one to say no to the gov. do I have to tell a higher official that the government has no more control over me and I'll live my life the way I see fit. Man made laws are what they are, man made.

How much of the population does it take to abolish and reform?


To quote Monty Python, "Extreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses."

The recent Tea Party in its original form was a Libertarian movement seeking real change that was co-opted by the Republican Party and disarmed by the media. The Occupy Movement derided by so many for its disheveled appearance and lack of coordination, was (at least) a physical movement also seeking real change, and in the end it was crushed by the authorities, with little public outcry.

One was of born of the right, the other of the left, and both were seeking the same thing - governmental reform - and both failed because people don't seem willing to set aside their differences and prefer retreating to the more comfortable positions of dividing lines and apathy.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 02:07 PM
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I used to love this country, I used to be filled with optimism for Americas future. The average american is uninformed, uneducated and not capable of critical thinking. Now I can only mourn for what she once was. Americans are about to become the new 1939 Germans to the rest of the world. Its being set up already. Its only a matter of time before an alliance of allies brings down the american reich.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by Exsisto

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.



Let me start with I agree 100% with the language used to express the founding fathers' sentiments. Let us be honest. These statements were only true for European men that migrated to North American. It did not apply to the natives and/or the African/Asians that performed labor.

Our liberties were taken away in 1932 by the Federal Reserve Act, in the 40s by taxation post WW 1 & 2, by the patriot act and most recently by the NDAA.

Where is the ability for the people to redress? What checks afford a record of accountability of the elected? When do the people actually vote for things like universal healthcare?


Originally posted by Exsisto

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.



The consent of the governed is clearly no longer practiced. 2 wars, bailouts and socialism are proving that.


Originally posted by Exsisto

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."



This is true. The paradigm shift is from the 'ballot box' to the 'voting with the dollar' model. The fact is that our government is bought and paid for by the brands our citizens give money to.

I agree that patriotism is lost. Primarily because a true patriot is considered a traitor or terrorist in this modern epoch.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by zroth
 


Good points on all counts.

What or who constitutes a true patriot?



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 02:25 PM
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reply to post by Exsisto
 


I am comfortable with the dictionary definition as a baseline.



pa·tri·ot    
noun

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, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.



To the first point, Tammy Wynette made the previous generation famous with "Stand by your man". This nation has a lot of the abused housewife in them.

On the second, this is where the current legislation prevents the average citizen from standing up. We may need an American to seek political asylum in another country to start the revolution because they will be silenced here as quickly as a Chinese Dissident these days.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 02:44 PM
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Patriotism is a bad thing in my eyes, it means taking nationality at a higher importance than humanity. It is the line of thought that encourages imperialism and elitism.

If you have blind devotion and praise towards your country you are extremely mentally deficient. The biggest service you can provide for your country is criticizing it when need be.

You never wonder why they force kids as young as 5 to recite the pledge of allegiance every school day? They want your kids to be brainwashed loyalists.

edit on 7-7-2012 by RealSpoke because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:21 PM
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Patriotism is a small box to keep pride & ego in line with the governmental agendas.

We are starting to wake up and grow up to this nationalism crap propaganda keeping humanity divided and ruled. I'm sick of the red, white, and blue dinkus crowd, America has been bought and sold long ago, and your lives and freedoms are constantly being raped & abused by the corporations that run the world. There are no more countries, like what they said in the movie NETWORK.


Our "Independence"... from who, England? I live in NEW ENGLAND, shouldn't we have changed the name once we won our "free-dumb"? How about renaming it to "New America"? No we can't do that, because we are still an English colony, and all the land is taxed for the queen.

Fools, go back to bed and stick your national pride and patriotism where the sun don't shine, and keep enjoying all that Americanized Kool Aid...




posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by Exsisto
 


Well said we are loosing our freedoms, constitutional rights and allot of training and military build up is going in the states. Agencies like DHS just say the word terrorist to anything that threatens them with the help of the Fusion Centers labeling everyone as a threat to national security(72 Fusion Centers and counting now across the country) and then new executive orders get written giving more power to the President and these agencies until our freedom of speech, the rights to bare arms, and freedom of privacy are gone and replaced by a military state. What do we do when most Americans are struggling just to pay their bills or dont care whats going on and they think we are all crazy conspiracy theorists when those are the facts and if we do not stand together we will surely fall.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by Exsisto
 


This is called the "militarization of America", this is happenening in my country as well. Very interesting times we live in S @ F.

CK



posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 02:17 AM
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Just a personal theory but I believe the people in "higher" power are manipulating the American citizens to be either on the liberal or conservative side. There have been more and more extremists from both sides and if the American people cause discord among themselves and it turns violent it gives the government every excuse to use its military power against its own citizens. I think they're expecting us to break so they can blame us for taking their rights away. No proof on this theory but I'm my eyes it makes sense. United we stand divided we fall.



posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 02:58 AM
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Originally posted by mytheroy
So how do we the people reform and reestablish said gov. the only way I see change is another civil war. Does it take one to say no to the gov. do I have to tell a higher official that the government has no more control over me and I'll live my life the way I see fit. Man made laws are what they are, man made.

How much of the population does it take to abolish and reform?


The people cannot reform the government because 'we the people' do not stand together. Small groups of people who care usually have good ideas, but the masses immediately disapprove and label these groups as anti-american. The only way our country can be ran the way it should is if normal people were put into power. If the house of reps and the president made the same amount of money as the majority of the citizens, things would change quick and for the better.

Normal/everyday people running the country = a more just and fair system



posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 11:23 AM
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The Declaration of Independence should be put into proper context to actually understand it. Most of you know the official story about it but the real signing was a quiet secret affair.

Let me paint a picture for you.

Imagine around 70% favor the crown and are loyal to it.
27% are in the middle trying to cope with the facts at hand be slaves to the crown or side with the 3% that have taken a stand.

The signing of the DOI was treason and the patriots were terrorist in the crowns mind. These people that took part in that rebellion against the best equipt and trained force the world had seen at that time. Many had their families murdered just because they took part, and many patriots died before the declaration was even signed.

Put yourself in their shoes. What would you do? How would you act?

The level of tyranny the crown bestowed on the colonist pale in comparison with today's actions of our elected government. I won't waste my time outlining today's issues you are either aware and are powerless to do anything, you don't care or you have no idea what I am talking about.

I watched the Patriot on the 4th with my son and he asked me why the bad guys burned all those people in the church and I began to cry. I told him that they were punished for aiding the people that fought for the very freedoms we take for granted today.

Benjamin Martin in the Patriot said early in the move a quote that I believe has become true today. "why should I trade 1 tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants 1 mile away?"

The argument went something like this:


Col. Harry Burwell: This is not a war for the independence of one or two colonies, but for the independence of one nation.
Capt. Wilkins: Tell me, Colonel, what nation is that?
Mr. Howard: An American nation!
Capt. Wilkins: There is no such nation, and to speak of one is treason.
Mr. Howard: We ARE citizens of an American nation! And our rights are being threatened by a tyrant three thousand miles away!
Benjamin Martin: Would you tell me please, Mr. Howard, why should I trade one tyrant three thousand miles away for three thousand tyrants one mile away? An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as a king can.
Col. Harry Burwell: Captain Martin, I understood you to be a patriot.
Benjamin Martin: If you mean by patriot, am I angry about taxation without representation, well, yes I am. Should the American colonies govern themselves independently? I believe that they can, and they should. But if you are asking me, am I willing to go to war with England? Well, then the answer is most definately NO!


We have become a nation in decline due to our failure to hold those accountable for destroying our fragile republic.

So if we want to celebrate Independence day instead of buying Chinese made fireworks, Buy some American made guns and ammunition and get ready. The "3000" tyrants are here and they have gutted our republic to its core.

I have a friend that called me last night from PA. He told me that he put out the call to arms and get ready for a fight when the Arms Trade treaty is signed.

Treason is the only crime defined in our constitution. It is defined as giving aid or comfort to the enemy. If restricting an Americans rights to own firearms through signing an international treaty isn't treason I don't know what is.

Every Elected jackwagon in the Federal Government swore and Oath to defend our constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. To accept that oath and hold that office is supposed to mean something. Now we are being forced to either draw a line in the sand, or submit to total control of our lives.

Where do your allegiances lie? With the Republic and its Constitution or somewhere else.

I think you can guess where mine lie.

I leave you with a quote from the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson:

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ




posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 01:40 PM
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Big thanks for all of the stars and flags. More importantly, all of the responses in this thread have been thoughtful and well composed, and are greatly appreciated.

None of the themes we're touching upon are new. Without a doubt; ATS members display the spectrum of varying political and religious views and ideologies. The site is (thankfully) a haven and place for potentially healthy discussion among those who recognize the U.S. government and society itself is one among many in the world that could use a reformation in an attempt to eradicate cronyism, fascism, and plutocracy.

Perhaps if there was a way for people to see past their comfort zones and dividing lines and agree on their common ground, we could all meet there and create a unified reformist movement built to urge those inalienable rights we all agree we share.

As I mentioned earlier; recently there have been reformist movements from both the right and left that shared common goals, but which have been dismantled and weakened because people have generally chosen to focus on surface divisions rather than core commonalities. Until that stops, things will continue as they are.
edit on 8-7-2012 by Exsisto because: pedantic



posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 04:08 PM
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reply to post by Exsisto
 


Great read.

I think Americans need to learn the difference between patriotism and nationalism.

While many "patriots" in USA may feel it's ok to love your country just because you were born in it and will follow blindly no matter what your country does -- that is indeed, nationalism. And nationalism has has been called patriotism before, and it has not ended well any time the word was hijacked.


Khar



posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 09:12 PM
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Being an Army Veteran, Patriotic means to love your country and the principles that it was founded on. It is not about the like or dislike of politicians or corporations. I too have became very down hearted the past few years. I hope that one day Americans from all walks of life and races realize that we have been systematically divided by the government and the media.
The government realized long ago, by maintaining division between it's people, it would be very hard for them to unite and stand up. Anyone could disagree, but it is very obvious if anyone pays attention.
Everything that benefitted the average blue collar has been taken away in the past thirty years. the dream of the American dream has become virtually impossible to reach, unless you get into "creative financing" and break laws.
Reading through some posts, I really wanted to point out to the post that said we don't need our five year olds reciting the pledge of allegience ; This is just a small part of the problem.
I hope when a revolution begins, people keep their mission in my mind, and not turn against their brother.



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