What does it mean to be a patriot? Is it possible to hold two conflicting ideas concerning your country at the same time? For me, to do so, is the highest form of patriotism.
On one hand, I am unapologetically American. I live a life without need. I have a home, clothes, transportation, middle class income, two degrees and prospects for the future. I volunteer and advocate for causes I hold dear without fear of retribution from my government. I am free. It is the greatest gift ever given to me. No portion of my life would be the same without it. For this, I am eternally grateful and indebted to those leaders, who so bravely fought on my behalf.
On the other hand, I am fearful for my country. There is plenty of blame to go around for this fear. At every turn, surrounding institutions have failed me, as well as my fellow Americans. Let's emphasize this point, no one is blameless. Those failures have led to a country who ranks behind the world in many leading indexes. From health to education, to opportunity to mortality, to equality to equity, America is far from exceptional. We are far removed from the "shining city on a hill."
To be a patriot, you must realize these truths. To be honest with yourself, your country and your fellow citizens, you must be comfortable holding two divergent thoughts in your mind at the same time. You must be comfortable with the dissonance.
The empire has not fallen, though. To reignite our passions, we must act. We need a new anthem for America. One that isn't consumed with nationalism, rather a new order targeted at winning the hearts and minds of the masses. One focused on equality, equity and social justice. One less focused on the gluttony of wealth, rather shared prosperity. One less blinded by party and allegiance, rather collective action. Onc concerned with the plight of all people. An anthem for the best of ourselves. An anthem of shared ideals; a true sense of Americana.
Thanks for entering my world,