This is a wonderful article, so many human elements and aspects of life. So much honesty and openness, teaching us the difference between pseudo and genuine patriotism.
The relationship between a man and his country would be almost as numerously varied as the total number of residents.
So much room for vast differences but the question boils down to “what is patriotism”?
Firstly, it is essential to be unbiassed in this assessment. But that, in practice, is impossible because as the author says, one needs to step back from the issue in order to remove personal attachment and to see the big picture. A paradox, because patriotism intrinsically entails a sense of belonging, thus cannot be simply ignored.
Somehow, the author has been able to avoid this conflict and given us an excellent picture.
A bit like being a true friend, close enough to be conscious of the other’s faults, but understanding the reasons and human frailties and still feeling a deep attachment.
From an outsider’s (i.e., not American), angle it is easy to see the US problems and deficiencies. I am glad I don’t have to weigh them from a countryman’s perspective.
It seems that most Americans cannot remove themselves from this attachment sufficiently to see how bad the country is, in so many ways and to such serious degrees.
If you proceed to the source post, you will get to see a video that demonstrates exactly what is discussed here. An audience is told with sincerity, confidence, intelligence, skill and great competence, that America is not the greatest country in the world.
The whole audience, hundreds of them, together withe the others on stage, sat there in a state of shock. They had been living in a dream world, oblivious or brainwashed into a false sense of security and belief in their “dream world” and were being told the truth, that they were virtually dreaming.
I wonder how many went home feeling that they learned something, and how many thought that the guy was a nut?
It goes without saying that I am strongly impressed by this article and the video.
A great post AJ.
- Patriotism: Criticism is not unpatriotic (utsandiego.com)
July 16, 2013 – Imagine you have a brother and he’s an alcoholic. He has his moments, but you keep your distance from him. You don’t mind him for the occasional family gathering or holiday. You still love him. But you don’t want to be around him. This is how I lovingly describe my current relationship with the United States. The United States is my alcoholic brother. And although I will always love him, I don’t want to be near him at the moment.
I know that’s harsh, but I really feel my home country is not in a good place these days. That’s not a socio-economic statement (although that’s on the decline as well), but rather a cultural one.
I realize it’s going to be impossible to write sentences like the ones above without coming across as a raging prick, so…
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