A lot of people think I’m not very patriotic. They think I complain too much about the way the government is handling the war in Iraq (not “mission accomplished,” in case you haven’t noticed), health care, and tax breaks for big corporations and the ultra rich. These people seem to forget that our country was founded by complainers who, feeling that they were being treated unfairly by their King (coincidentally named George), did something about it.
(Of course, most of today’s Americans are too weak to stand up for what’s right. And with a huge number of them believing the lies spun out by cable news networks (think Fox), they’re misled to thinking that their biggest worry should be that someone other than a born again Christian Republican may be sitting in the White House come January 2009. But that’s a topic for another post.)
In reality, I’m very patriotic. I love my country — well, at least the country I grew up in, which has the same name as the one I’m a citizen of now. I believe in the “American Way” as it was in the 50s and 60s and 70s. I still think the “American Dream” is possible for people who work hard instead of trying to figure out ways to beat the system. Today’s corruption of American is pretty tough to swallow sometimes.
I believe in contributing to my community to make it better — but not when the leaders of my community are obviously out to make themselves, their friends, and their family members rich or influential at the expense of the people they’re supposed to be serving. I believe in helping my neighbor when help is needed. I also remember that America has always been a melting pot of people and their cultures, different doesn’t mean bad, and everyone has a right to pursue their own happiness, as long as it doesn’t infringe on others’.
I believe in our First Amendment freedoms, especially the freedom of speech and the freedom to practice any religion I like, even if that’s no religion at all. I’m proud to be part of a country whose founding fathers had enough foresight to keep religion out of government, even if I’m ashamed that the Executive Branch and half the Legislative Branch of government have forgotten that part of the Constitution exists.
I’m patriotic, but I’m not blind and I’m not stupid. And I feel sorry for the people who believe the crap they hear on cable news networks and read in viral e-mail messages.