The reclaiming of patriotism


While the United States is not perfect, it is incredibly special and unlike anywhere else in the whole world. America is very often taken for granted. Residents usually focus on its problems rather than its blessings, as only a few understand what a comparatively excellent place to live in it is. Certainly, every country has its problems, and America is any exception. However, the denunciation of patriotism is not helpful or productive in any way. 

In the Bay Area, one of the most liberal areas in the nation, outlook on the future of the U.S. has been bleak. Liberals have continued to reject patriotism as a conservative value, with growing resentment of the other party, whereas conservatives have upheld American patriotism. Liberals in the area have let conservatives claim patriotism as their own, as despise for America grows in liberal beliefs. 

Although, in a time of understandable anger and despair, liberals need patriotism more than ever. To change the world for the better, a stronger democracy is needed. Patriotism in the right spirit fosters the civic trust and solidarity that democracy needs. Patriotism is not an excuse to gloss over America’s failures and crimes — in fact, it is the opposite. It adds responsibilities to our lives. But, it also fosters both pride and affection for our country.

Threats to the nation’s survival and well-being include oligarchies, climate change, racial injustice and the economic collapse of entire regions. However, the enemy is not directly these issues; rather, these crises pit one against the other, as accusations of bigotry and bad faith are traded – we are one another’s problems. Finding commonalities in these circumstances is impossible, as many Americans are under the impression that they live among people who are actively attempting to ruin their nation. Basic change in America is needed, but we cannot tolerate the fact that we have to make it happen alongside our political enemies, as both sides must consent and cooperate. 

Here, patriotism can be justified through the risks and sacrifices that are made to improve our country. In this light, the belief that citizens can build better ways of living together can prove one’s loyalty to the country.

There is more to patriotism than just that warm feeling of love and pride for the nation. Patriotism can incite rage when your country upholds injustice or strips away basic freedoms and grief when wasteful war overseas or preventable domestic tragedy turns America into a destructive force. Feelings of grief and rage are just affirmations of how much we care, in politics and elsewhere.