I know many people will disagree with me about this, being the awesome radicals that they are, but I feel like its important people understand where I am coming from.
I don’t hate America. I would even say I don’t entirely hate my government either. But it cannot be denied that there are terrible forces at work within our country that will, if left unchecked, ultimately destroy it. Despite this, I still call myself a patriot and a proud American. Why?
a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
In this case, I tend to think the 2nd definition fits me more, but there is something to be said about country. Country is where you live and, despite people who say they are citizens of the world, most people are connected with a certain small part of this place called Earth in certain ways more than other ones.
You cannot expect people to stop self-identifying with pieces of land no matter who it belonged to at one point because history is–well–history. It is less about geography and more about culture. For me it’s Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and American folk music. For others, it might be guns and the military but I don’t feel like I should have to apologize for being American because I didn’t ask for this government. And no–I didn’t vote for Obama.
That said we all have a right and responsibility to empathize and take care of all people of the world which is only left difficult by hatreds and politics that has nothing to do with 99% of us.
Our countries people are just as important as Afghanistan’s people, Iraq’s people, Russia’s people, China’s people, and all of the people of the world. The people who realize this are true patriots, because it protects our interests as well as theirs when we stand up to the government for everything from drone attacks and dumb laws.
Woody Guthrie wrote ‘This Land is your Land’ because he thought that ‘America the Beautiful’ completely missed the point. The lyrics show what kind of American and patriot he was and what kind I am.