I was at some fireworks last night, and honestly, it made me sad. Not because I'm unpatriotic - because every other song they were playing was about "freedom," and we no longer have that. We are spied on by the government. Felt up through airports. People are beaten and killed by police every day. Ever since Bush, we no longer stand for freedom overseas, but rather wars of aggression, the current sole imperial power on earth. One would have thought we'd have learned our lesson as far back as Vietnam, but no. It's not that we still aren't a nation of great people, but the things that made us great as a nation are in decline.
By the way - it's my patriotism that makes me sad in that way. I want the best for my nation. What we're doing isn't it.
Oh, and Paneo, it's not about taking my neighbor's ---- - in fact, I contribute. I pay into taxes, not take out of. And I want to see things like national healthcare for all and freely available birth control. I want to see that in what would seriously be called a patriotic manner, as in I would be proud to see our nation come together to accomplish that, to look out for the common good in that manner.
Which is the difference between liberal and conservative patriotism, and why they don't understand ours. Conservatives think you can just scream "we're number one!" and it makes it true, that our nation can do anything it wants internationally, because, well - 'Murica! They're like spoiled children. Believing they can do anything they want, and all the toys are theirs and you best not make them share. I believe our nation is great in the times it comes together for the common good. We were great when we made the highway system. Great when we admitted our mistakes and improved them - such as when women earned the right to vote, to equal freedom and equality with men, even more so when slaves were emancipated and we began to move on from that terrible tragedy. Floundered a bit there, but great again when we got behind the civil rights movement, and reaffirmed that in fact ALL men were created equal. We were great in the depression, when we organized the New Deal, and made sure our elderly wouldn't starve in the streets, and great when we came together and fought a just war (our last just war) in WWII. Basically, we have been great in our liberal moments. Now, in our conservative moments, of greed, corporatism, wars of aggression, cut social safety nets and social policies, and intrusive authoritarian government, I fear for us.