Friday, July 22, 2005

The Patriotic Index

I'm more than a little tired of this current trend to evaluate a person's "patriotic index" by what they drive, what they hang on their car, whether they support a war, whether they are against a war, or what shoes they wear. Flag waving and chants of USA are empty gestures from the safety of home to assuage and encourage those in harm's way. Patriotism is marketed, pre-packaged and distributed like twinkies. The more you chant, display the flag, and hang ribbons on your car somehow makes you more American than the next guy.

Pointed out to me in a thread in a forum far from here was the opinion that a true patriot is one who has sacrificed for their country. That true patriotism is not what you say you will do for your country, but what you have done for your country. Patriotism does not need to be worn on our shirtsleeves for all to see. Patriotism is caring about your country, calling out fouls, and keeping it going in the right direction. The most patriotic folks I know are buried in Arlington, the shores of France, and the fields of Viet Nam. We do no honor to their memory by pinning flags to our antennas. These displays cheapen the sacrifices they made for us.

If you want to impress us with your patriotism, fight an injustice, put yourself on the line for something that counts. Until then you are just talking the talk, not walking the walk.

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