On Patriotism and What It Means To Me.
While patriotism in its truest sense is only a minor evil, in America it has been blown out of proportion into an incredible engine of tyranny. Patriotism has recently, lets say post September 11th, become more a blind acceptance that whatever the president and congress decide is not only right, but also anyone who says otherwise is a pacifist or even an anarchist. This disillusioned atmosphere of "we"ll let the government handle it" has bred some of the most right-smashing laws ever passed. For example the Sedition Act of 1918 states "Anyone who willfully utters, prints, writes, or publishes any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . . shall be punished by a fine of $10,000 or imprisonment of twenty years, or both." .
Worse and more damaging an emotion to our rights then blind acceptance though is apathy. If one just lies back while the government runs it own course under the umbrella excuse of patriotism, I believe, we the people of the US establish the world's most powerful oligarchy. One with a three-pronged attack of the judicial, executive, and legislative branches. All that is really would take to halt the tyrannical engine of patriotism is keeping people aware of their rights as Americans and getting them to vote their mind. But that is a bigger challenge then it should be with an apathetical public opinion and an ineffective media, one whose primary goal is to market goods rather then to inform.
Yes, Americans are on average lacking. Needing and pleading for help whether they understand it or not. But patriotism is not the answer to their plight.