Examining American Patriotism

“A Thought for Today” is a regular feature of Wordsmith.org.  Check this out, if you will:

Patriotism is pride in a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country’s virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, “the greatest”, but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is. -Sydney J. Harris, journalist and author (14 Sep 1917-1986)

This is a concept that’s been going around a few long time.  Perhaps it goes back to the ancient Athenians; it was certainly prevalent in the Vietnam War days of the 1960s and 70s, were we had the infamous slogans “My country right or wrong,” and “If you don’t love it, leave it.”

The United States still has a great number of strengths of which we should all be proud, principally rooted in its constitution.  In fact, the very vulnerability that the country’s president is exploiting at this moment is the constitution itself, with its 5th and 14th Amendment guaranteeing equal protection under the law.  True in principal, to be sure.  But in practice, is the president above the law?

We’re about to find out.