Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Patriotism vs. Nationalism

Sometimes I hit my limit of bullshit and the truth falls out of my mouth.  Today, I was skimming the Book of Face and saw a post from an acquaintance that make my skin crawl and my blood boil.  Essentially, it was a rant about how anyone who doesn't want to sing the National Anthem, recite the pledge every few minutes, or think of the Founding Fathers exclusively as "god fearing men."  My last post pretty well covers my thoughts on the last point, but today I feel I need to go a step further.

I agree, our country has a lot of problems.  People from other countries are NOT the problem.  People who don't say the pledge are NOT the problem.  People who aren't "religious enough" are NOT the problem.  Growing divisiveness is a REAL problem.  It's preventing our Congress from accomplishing anything, and they have reached a new low in the number of bills they pass.  They no longer focus on the substance of a problem or solution.  Rather than discussing whether or not legislation is the right thing to do or if it will be enough to help, we discuss whether or not there are enough votes to override a filibuster.  Whether or not the other party will "allow" a bill to come up for a vote.

Searching for "others," those who are different in some way, to blame is a REAL problem.  Neither political party is solely to blame for the deficit, the economy, the job market, or foreign relations.  We are too focused on standing against the "other guy" rather than standing up for the little guy.  We have forgotten that we are a nation of "others" and outcasts.  We've forgotten that our differences don't create weakness, they provide strength.  They give us different ways of looking at problems, and different ways to approach solutions.  Only by combining our knowledge and skills can we hope to tackle problems as large as those that currently face us.  We need to focus on coming together instead of splitting apart. 

We are at our best when we work together.  There is safety and strength in numbers.  If nothing else, take a moment to remember that "God Bless America" doesn't mean "God damn everyone else."

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