Society’s misconstrued perception of patriotism is detrimental

Ava Nelson, Features Editor

Many people find themselves off-put by patriotism after personal struggles within America or witness to controversy and tragedy. Patriotism has been distorted over time, but still belongs in a flawed country.

Through 243 years of war, victories and losses, mistakes and achievements, scientific breakthroughs and tragedy, has the US lost what it means to be patriotic? While many people find themselves off-put by the term after personal struggles within the country or witness to controversy and tragedy, patriotism is vital to improving America, acknowledging its past and building a brighter future. 

To start off, patriotism is notand is far from nationalism. Nationalism has caused war, atrocities and countries to fall, and is the last thing America needs at the moment. Blunt and ignorant pride for a country blinds a nation just as hate does. 

That said, patriotism is also not the dismissal of the wrongs of a country but calls for the admittance and acknowledgement of the flaws in it. True devotion and reverence for a country is shown through the drive and resolve to correct mistakes and make improvisations for the better of the common good.  

That is exactly why peaceful protests and marches are actually very patriotic and are displays of love for a country. Intention to better one’s country and acknowledgment of the wrongs in it does not call for condescension or distaste though. An attitude I’ve discovered to be increasingly prevalent that can be found popping up over different media outlets is “America sucks, or “America is trash.” 

America is not its sins. Without doubt, the U.S. is flawed, but the people, families, innovators and creators that call this nation home embody more of what it means to be American that any of the corrupt government officials who hold office and the limelight. If you wish to see change or to save America, why are you wasting time conserving something you hate?  

Yes, if you abhor someone in office who is infringing upon rights or you detest certain detrimental societal constructs, then express that indignation, just direct that emotion at the proper target. Target it at the ideas you oppose rather than painting America and individuals with a broad brush. America and corruption in America are different things. 

Unrefined hate and anger, even in response to something unjust, only ends up hurting the true soul of a country, the people. That is why becoming accustomed to the belief and slogan of saying America is trashis just detrimental for any cause. Disgruntled, mass-shared and unfocused rage is easy to take advantage of, as proved through history by manipulative leaders such as Stalin. 

If you have passion and you are angered over injustice, face that ire to properly insight change instead of directing it at the general population. Introduce your case to people, argue to convince others to your side instead of hammering your beliefs into place. Modern day patriotism should breathe life into proper argument (argument which calls for opposing sides to meet each other with respect and present claims which should build on each other instead of destroying one or another) and compromise. Patriotism is the pride not only in America, but in the fight to improve America.  

Love entails work. Work to take what you have in a country and preserve culture, freedom and safety while persevering to eliminate anything that may threaten those virtues. Patriotism is more than a love or heir of superiority for a country, it’s the devotion to its people as well as reverence for the county’s residents and ancestors’ accomplishments. American patriotism is the belief in the rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, especially if it’s in the defense of them.