Friday, December 30, 2011

Not Talkin' About The Football Team

    Understanding has great potential to prevent conflict. Frustratingly enough, one catalyst of conflict I've witnessed stems from the misunderstanding of one word: Patriot. Patriotism is a strongly emotional word, but it's flung around far too much. Admittedly the height of paranoia in the wake of 9/11 has subsided, but the abuse of the word is still a go-to method of attack for two kinds of people: idiots, and those who intend to control us.
    Patriotism is defined as devoted love, support and defense of one's country. Too many individuals become so blinded by that love, however, and feel that to support one's country one must follow whatever we are told without question. The simple act of calling elected officials and lawmakers into question can draw accusation that you do not support the entire country, which is unquestionably fallacious. Unfortunately this kind of catastrophizing is very popular, and draws a great deal of public support. And why not? who wants to appear unpatriotic, especially in the middle of a crowd? Cries of who is or isn't patriotic is used to great effect to control many kinds of people, and it's comical.
    I love my country, I am thankful for everything my country provides for me. However, to claim there are no problems, that nothing needs fixing, is bluntly delusion. I would probably come under fire, and be labeled among the "Blame America First" group, of which I believe is a gross oversimplification. However, if I am looking for flaws in America, and finding them, I have two options: leave the country, or try to fix it. If I'm trying to fix it, then it's because I believe the problem can be fixed and the change would benefit the whole country. Change is not bad, and it is illogical to assume that a desire for change implies a hatred of the the entire nation. I can hate one aspect and still love the whole. From the lyrics of Immortal Technique, "I love the place I live, but I hate the people in charge" and as the graffiti says on the 590/490 can-of-worms "You can't spell 'Patriot' without 'Riot.' As I keep coming back to, think for yourself.

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