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anoop's avatar

What is the point of being patriotic when no one gets to decide where they are born?

Asked by anoop (71points) April 24th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Defined as strong feelings of love and devotion to one’s country, I suppose that patriotism is a quality that is developed over one’s lifetime and commonly not before young adulthood. So, it would not be the result of simply having been born in a particular country, but a combination of a) perceived gifts received from living in said country, b) affinity for the ideals and/or culture of said country, and c) a perceived need to defend one’s country (plus ideals and/or culture) from outside threats. I’m sure there are other factors that could be included (both positive and negative such as blind faith or pressure to conform).

So, I’d say ideally, it’s more of an informed choice based on some life experience rather than the byproduct of one’s birth location. Some people leave their country of birth and become expatriates via the same process.

nocountry2's avatar

so what you didn’t get to pick your mother either, but you respect the right she tried to do in raising you

wildflower's avatar

Love and respect for your country is not like picking your favorite football team to support. You appreciate it because it’s an integral part of you, your background and what shaped you in to what you are today.
Some get more protective than others, but anyone who’s learned to appreciate themselves will also appreciate where they came from.

mcbealer's avatar

As a first generation natural-born American in my family, I am patriotic because I appreciate the freedoms and opportunities I have as an American.

gooch's avatar

You should also recognize the sacrifices other have made so you could live in this country in the manner in which you live. I support those people by being patriotic.

wildflower's avatar

By the way….I’m not American in any way shape or form, but I think appreciation of one’s home is the same no matter who or where you are.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

good answer, gooch. I think that the recognition of those sacrifices is long lost. I graduated HS in 2000. I never remember the importance of the sacrifices made and freedom gained from our founding fathers being stressed in school, and it definitely shows within my peers. Even with as much as I have been reading history, I never understood the sacrifices made until I
watched John Adams on HBO.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Unfortunately, like liberal and conservative, the definition of patriotism has changed, especially since the “Patriot” Act. If our representatives didnt vote for the Patriot Act, they would be looked at as unpatriotic. It seems that most Americans now think being patriotic means to not question your government. Here are 2 great quotes:

“When fascism comes to America, it will be carrying a cross wrapped in a flag.” Sinclair Lewis (fits GWB to a T)

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his govt.” Edward Abbey

scamp's avatar

You may not get to decide where you are born, but you can decide where you will continue to live and where your loyalites lie. Too many people expect their country to support them but give nothing in return. They seem to have a sense of entitlement to things they have done nothing to earn. There is no greener grass on the other side of the fence, so it’s important to value the freedoms that we have and the right to complain about what we do not by supporting those that fought to give us that right.

mzgator's avatar

I think you should feel patriotic about your country. Patriotism to me means a lot if things. Respect for your country, pride in your country, volunteerism in support of your country , love of your counter, prayer for your country and support of your country and ts leaders . You may not have been able to choose where you were born , but you can choose to live somewhere else.

As a proud American, I say we should all be patriotic about this great country . If you can not love and support the United States of America…... Leave!

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Wow Mzgator.

If you can not love and support the US, leave!?!!!?!
How patriotic is that??

I think you left out one key item to being patriotic. I think an UNDERSTANDING for the principles your country was founded on, is a key characteristic to being patriotic.

I know it might not always seem like it, but I love our country. I love that it was based on a philosophy that ALL men are created free and equal. I love that it was based on a rule of law created by the people and for the people. I love that WE are the government.

As a 25 year old American, with no kids and a very good job, with lots of time on my hands, I have come to the realization that I should not love my country just because I was taught that it is a great country in history class. I want to love my country, knowing that I am going to have a bright and free future.

I have been seriously struggling to love my country the past 2 years. I still love the founding principles, how could you not, but we have strayed soooooo far from those principles. We have given authority to the President to go to war, we torture, we abolished Habeus Corpus, we work with dictatorships, we are destroying our planet, Social Security, medicare and medicaid, are going to total $52 trillion when the boomers retire. I can go on forever.

America is no longer the land of the free, ruled by the people. It is ruled by a few, but more importantly, greed and “money.” I say “money”, because the “federal” reserve, can single handidly determine what our money is worth.

You are free to feel and think what you want, mzgator. For now. Please dont think everything is peachy keen in the US. It is far from it. Too many people are ignorant to what freedom really is, Its not to be more free than other countries, it is to be absolutely free. To be able to do anything you want, as long as you are not violating someone else’s property or rights.

webmasterwilliam's avatar

I served my 4 years in the military defending every Americans right to NOT be patriotic. I will go to the mat to protect anybody’s right to be non-patriotic, because I am. That’s what makes America so great.

Notice, we have fences at our borders to keep people out, while most countries have fences to keep people in.


Siren's avatar

@webmasterwilliam: I like your style!

Siren's avatar

I think patriotism is a state of mind. If you think you’re a patriot, you are. As many have stated above, experiences tend to define to what degree one is a patriot. Some may argue those who have enjoyed the rights and privileges of a certain nation for a long time take their opportunities for granted and hence criticize more, and are less patriotic. Conversely, another group may argue they are trying to better their society by constructive criticism, and also the said nation has attained a higher standard globally and need to maintain (or improve apon) it.

I guess it doesn’t really matter where you were born, just how you feel about where you live (ie I feel lucky, I feel shortchanged, I feel angry).

Strauss's avatar

I always like to draw the distinction between patriotism and nationalism.

I believe it was Cicero (or some other Roman writer) who said that patriotism is the love of the country, not necessarily love of the government or administration.

@mzgator your statements remind me very much of some bumper stickers I used to see in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s telling me to love my country or leave it. i think it i not only possible, but necessary, if you truly love your country, to recognize flaws and work to change and correct them. Look at what’s happening in Iran. Supporters of the opposition are protesting what they see as a rigged election.

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