T Nation

Supporting America

In honor of Memorial Day, I will be opening up my first Politics thread. I am interested in general thoughts… hopefully this doesn’t turn into a name-calling-piss-fest like all the others.

In the first few months of post-9/11 America there was an uprising in American Pride. Magnets, posters, flags, stickers, etc… Before the one year anniversary all the USA gear hit the attic. In general, I see the general American pride as pathetic, mainly because we fail to define the difference between supporting America and supporting the government of America. On my particular campus, I noticed many students demasting their US Flags upon Bush’s reelection… this doesn’t make sense.

So the topic of discussion:

Can one support America and show pride in America without showing pride in the government?

How would you differentiate between the two?

Do you think the line gets faded?

When one proudly hangs the flag of the United States of America, is he/she automatically in support of all government actions?

[quote]TriGWU wrote:
In honor of Memorial Day, I will be opening up my first Politics thread. I am interested in general thoughts… hopefully this doesn’t turn into a name-calling-piss-fest like all the others.

In the first few months of post-9/11 America there was an uprising in American Pride. Magnets, posters, flags, stickers, etc… Before the one year anniversary all the USA gear hit the attic. In general, I see the general American pride as pathetic, mainly because we fail to define the difference between supporting America and supporting the government of America. On my particular campus, I noticed many students demasting their US Flags upon Bush’s reelection… this doesn’t make sense.

So the topic of discussion:

Can one support America and show pride in America without showing pride in the government?

How would you differentiate between the two?

Do you think the line gets faded?

When one proudly hangs the flag of the United States of America, is he/she automatically in support of all government actions? [/quote]

Yes. Liberals get this confused often though.
By simply saying I don’t agree with the government but this is the greatest country on the planet.

Yes.

No.

Now shut up ya damn pussy!
:wink:

[quote]TriGWU wrote:
In honor of Memorial Day, I will be opening up my first Politics thread. I am interested in general thoughts… hopefully this doesn’t turn into a name-calling-piss-fest like all the others.

In the first few months of post-9/11 America there was an uprising in American Pride. Magnets, posters, flags, stickers, etc… Before the one year anniversary all the USA gear hit the attic. In general, I see the general American pride as pathetic, mainly because we fail to define the difference between supporting America and supporting the government of America. On my particular campus, I noticed many students demasting their US Flags upon Bush’s reelection… this doesn’t make sense.

So the topic of discussion:

Can one support America and show pride in America without showing pride in the government?

How would you differentiate between the two?

Do you think the line gets faded?

When one proudly hangs the flag of the United States of America, is he/she automatically in support of all government actions? [/quote]

  1. Yes dissent is a cornerstone. We may
    disagree but I don’t think anyone
    thinks the act of dispute is wrong.

  2. I think the two are intertwined so
    the answer is no for me.

  3. The line gets faded all the time. By
    both sides, the media and the electorate

  4. When you display the flag you are
    showing pride in your nation. That’s
    what I feel. If you don’t like the
    goverment vote and participate.

That’s my two cents on your questions.

Have fun on the board. FYI - I am a conservative.

You can clearly be in support of America and not in support of the current government. In fact, i would call them mutually exclusive for the most part.

Unfortunately, for those that want to argue, they want to not be able to seperate the two. Look no further than the war In Iraq. If you support the war you automatically are presumed to be a Bush lover. For those opposed–liberal bastards.

There are many reasons to love this country with no consideration to the current administration. Just as there were many reasons to love this country during the past one. The freedoms and opportunities afforded did not come about with this or any current group of leaders.

Raising and saluting the flag on Memorial Day does not, should not, require you to be in favor of the current leaders. That is just one of many reasons to be in favor of this place.

I currently hang an US flag over my bed in my dorm room and have had one in my bedroom, by choice, since I can remember.

I’ve simply noticed that many come across the flag and have some sort of “cowboy”, “pro-bush”, “pro-war”, etc. reaction.

I feel like, as of late, many have turned the flag into a Pro-Bush statement. Since the recent Iraq war I’ve noticed that many associate displays of US pride (outside Athletics) to be a support of the war.

It is almost as if one associates the flag as some aspect of sports gear. As if we are saying “Go America!” in the same way one would say “Go Yankees” or “Go Red Sox”.

[quote]TriGWU wrote:
Can one support America and show pride in America without showing pride in the government? [/quote]

What bothers me more is that this question even needs to be asked. I am military. I joined because I support this country, not because I support whoever is in office for 4 years. Not one soldier pledges allegience to the president. We follow orders often in spite of where our heart lies.

[quote]
How would you differentiate between the two?[/quote]

By simple realization that this country is NOT whoever is in office at the moment. I disagree with many moves this current administration has taken. That has nothing to do with a country that was founded on more noble principles.

[quote]
Do you think the line gets faded?[/quote]

In my honest opinion, only currently by many conservatives who want to use the same line of thinking as “you are either with us or against us”. It is propoganda and a baseless effort to drown out anyone who has an opposing view point.

[quote]
When one proudly hangs the flag of the United States of America, is he/she automatically in support of all government actions? [/quote]

I actually think that many people who hang the flag out of their car window are posers. They want to act as if spending the 50 cents on that flag equals loyalty and devotion. Throwing a beer can out of the window at the next stop can sometimes seal the deal apparently. A flag in the window means little. How you live daily means much more.

As a Cananadian, I am often impressed with American patriotisim. I must ask though, is it the country you love, or the feedom you have living in said country? How would you feel living somewhere else, but were still allowed to do the things you do every day?

[quote]Papa wrote:
As a Cananadian, I am often impressed with American patriotisim. I must ask though, is it the country you love, or the feedom you have living in said country? How would you feel living somewhere else, but were still allowed to do the things you do every day?[/quote]

That “freedom” is in jeopardy in my opinion. We are allowing fear of an attack to govern laws and restrictions being made. On one hand you have prevention…taken too far could lead to loss of individual freedom.

To answer your question directly, my devotion is to the promotion of freedom and that is not just land specific. However, my priorities are here first as they should be. I feel we are taking on the role of “giving” freedom when we still have far too many issues here to deal with. This will lead to strecthing ourselves too thin…as can already be seen by the closure of several military bases.

What is not widely promoted is the downfall of several communties once those bases are gone. I live in a “military town”. If this base closed down, the entire area would fall, literally. There wouldn’t be one business around that would be able to stay open outside of Spring Break season.

[quote]Papa wrote:
As a Cananadian, I am often impressed with American patriotisim. I must ask though, is it the country you love, or the feedom you have living in said country? How would you feel living somewhere else, but were still allowed to do the things you do every day?[/quote]

I more enjoy the general tradition and respect seen in giving back to the country. I think this is starting to fade but at one point I do believe there was a much higher respect for men (and eventually women) who entered any uniformed service. I throw my general respect out to teachers / educators as well as they do just as much to give back as a soldier… just on a more internal level.

Each generation (in multiple accounts) of my family has served in the military. I think this is important. Important to give back that same ability to go through a week of public transportation without worrying if the damn place is going to blow up.

Professor X’s makes a good point; indeed it’s really easy to buy a few flags.
I am proud to be a Floridian, and an American. Informed patriotism is a wonderful thing, and I appreciate it in its many forms.

That said, I cannot help but shake my head at the thought of big corporations raking in cash from the sale of patriotic paraphenalia in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.

[quote]G. McCormack wrote:
Professor X’s makes a good point; indeed it’s really easy to buy a few flags.
I am proud to be a Floridian, and an American. Informed patriotism is a wonderful thing, and I appreciate it in its many forms.

That said, I cannot help but shake my head at the thought of big corporations raking in cash from the sale of patriotic paraphenalia in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy. [/quote]

Especially the Chinese made American flags.

Patriotism is not about us and them. Too many people fall into thinking there are teams, and if your team is not in power, you must hate the government.

The reality is that we put these people into power, and in effect, we have a role in the government. I would believe that patriotism is related to the government because of this, but it does not mean blind acceptance of everything and anything, in fact I believe it is kind of the opposite, and means you should be involved.

I am patriotic, because this is my country. It also has nothing to do with other countries, just like caring about my family has nothing to do with other families.

After 911, I had a little flag attached to my antenna. I wasn’t “posing”, although I would believe some do, but I wouldn’t pre-judge them myself. Once the flag started falling apart, I took it off, but the sentiment is still there.

One thing though, I have heard about “Big Oil”, and “Big Tobacco”, but I don’t think I ever heard about, “Big Flag”. Many if not most of the companies putting out 911 memorabilia are actually small companies. Some do it because they are patriotic, and truly care. Others put it out to make money definitely, and other then some flags, and some t-shirts sold with the profits going to the Red Cross, I have not bought any of the crap.

Unlike other conservatives, while I respect the flag, I would never support protecting it by law. So my respect is really not for the flag, but what it represents. Some people forget that.

Ditto most of the sentiments here already.

I love this country because of what it stands for, and has stood for, since its inception in 1776. Plain and simple, we are against tyranny. I’m sorry, I don’t care who you are, but you gotta admit that’s cool. We’ve had our ups and downs in this; McCarthyism, Patriot Acts (to some of us), but I think that ideal is still the heart of what it means to be an American. We are free.

I think that 9/11 was a massive contributing factor to that famous “paradigm shift” in our foreign policy. No more is it to be live and let live… we are done sitting on the fence, politically. It could be argued that we have always been a bit nosy, e.g., Korean war, Vietnam… but it was never like the way it is now. We are openly telling the rest of the world: “No more Mr. Nice Guy… if you help those who would attack or threaten us, it is your ass.” And that new stance just happens to coincide with making enemies of tyranny in foreign lands? Saddam, North Korea (again!), Iran, Afghanistan… the list goes on. It just so happens that tyranny (in its various modern forms) hates us right back.

Maybe this is too much of a coincidence. I think that deep down, being an American means hating tyranny and wanting to destroy it. The differences about the liberal vs. conservative views about the Iraq war, for example, is just in the labelling of who the tyrant is. I see that a lot of the liberals here think of Bush as the tyrant, whereas the hawks (like me, obviously) see those foreign dictators as the enemy. It’s ironic: we disagree so strongly sometimes, and never realize that we all love freedom in our own ways, and that common feeling is something that binds us irrevocably together.

Wow, did I get off track or what? Um… sorry!

Go USA!!! :slight_smile:

As a German, I come from a country that frowns upon open displays of national pride (flags, parades, open pride in the military). Where I come from these have been (and are still often being) misused by extreme right-wing groups. Hence, I cannot have but feeling slightly nervous when someone waves a flag in my face, for whatever (even a completely acceptable) reason. And living in the UK, where I see regular patriotic displays hasn’t really changed that.

In the last decade or so, we Germans have tried to bolster our love for our home country with ideas like “constitutional patriotism” (ger. “Verfassungspatriotismus”), displaying love for our system rather than our home soil, but it still feels strange.

I concur very much with some of the posters above that you can and should support your country (its values und system), but have a critical eye on the people in power - and that it can be a very patriotic act to oppose them. Under which circumstances and for what reason is for everyone to decide, as long as the resistance stays within the confines of the law.

We all enjoy the liberties and freedoms of living in priviliged, rich and democratic coutries - “pride” is perhaps not the right word, “gratitude” might describe it better.