The word “patriotic” is slowly devolving into a negative connotation, with the image of nationalists and fascists coming to many peoples’ minds. These supposed “patriots”, or parrots, obviously get most people to cringe in pity at the lunacy of such individuals. They chant drivel, embrace ignorance, and tend to be confrontational to those who disagree.
This is not what patriotism is about in the slightest sense whatsoever. They are an embarrassment to the concept.
A patriot does not necessarily support every single law or decision passed by his government. Perhaps a better description would be a principled citizen who is genuinely thoughtful about the state of security, prosperity, and morals of the nation and its culture. A patriot often is concerned about the direction or path that the country is taking; this prompts action or discussion by the individual to encourage a different approach. A patriot does not believe in chaos or radical upheaval; he understands the importance of law and order, as well as respecting the nation’s constitution- the contract between citizens and their public servants.
Furthermore, the patriot may or may not agree with every war or invasion that the nation engages in- however, he will support the military in accomplishing success with the mission. A patriot doesn’t mock or ridicule soldiers who just came home from deployment. The patriot honors them, knowing that they followed orders, and sacrificed their lives for others.
The patriot understands liberty and why it must be protected. But the patriot also recognizes the value of restraint, knowing that an apathetic or sloppy culture is like a bad musical piece due to its absences of measures and moments of silence.
The patriot may or may not be a family man; but he recognizes the importance of it in a civil society. The patriot may or may not be religious; but he can appreciate religion’s promotion of community and humanitarian effects either way. The patriot may or may not even be a good person after all. There are good patriots, sanctimonious patriots, and perhaps even immodest patriots- what gives them their qualifications are the principles that they will demonstrate for their nation, by both word and deed.
If someone wishes to see the military fail, radical upheaval, abandonment of the nation’s constitution, flag burning, constant protest, or politicization of every single issue, then you may very well make the effort to argue as to why they are or aren’t justified in their beliefs.
Either way, that someone isn’t a patriot.
By: Cole Levine