Well, the comment heard was... "I think every
American is patriotic."
My first thoughts when hearing it were...
"Hmmm! Why wasn't the rest of what I
said played or was it edited? . . . Oh boy, with just that
statement listeners might conclude that I think those Americans
who hate our country are patriotic."
So, I want to state categorically that...
In fact, I thought I said... "I think every American who loves
the USA is patriotic."
Anyway, it is what I meant. It sure would have
eliminated the need to explain that I did state this during the
interview. Moreover, I sincerely believe that . . . one must first
love the USA before loyalty and inspiration can occur. How can it be
otherwise if hate is the alternative? Nor do I intend to talk about
varying degrees of both, as common sense should rule here.
Okay, now about what else was covered in the unheard part of the
While I don't condone or like it . . . I will defend fellow
citizens' right to "legally" express their dislike or hatred of the
flag, other national symbols, and even the USA. Nor do I
believe that expressing oneself this way is "being patriotic" or an act of patriotism
. . .
which I believe involves exemplifying / fostering "love and pride"
of America! Now, they might just love the USA differently. But
how and why?
Then there is the anger that I have towards those who purposely say
or do something that disrespects our brave troops . . . regardless
if they are in harm's way overseas or stationed in our beloved USA.
Being a father of a son who served with the Marines in Iraq during 2003
hasn't changed how I feel either . . . I just listen much closer to
what is being said . . . especially by our elected officials in
Washington, DC and the media.
I even mentioned to Jeff Jones about perception significantly
influencing one's thoughts relative to being patriotic and
expressing patriotism . . . which is the case for anyone in the
media spotlight including politicians. What one does or
doesn't do . . . in what is perceived by most Americans to be a
patriotic situation can be a permanent impression of the
individual's patriotism or lack of it.
Nor can a negative perception be easily overcome (if at all) . . .
depending on how strong the reaction is, as it might be too contrary
to a core feeling / belief. And even if there is a sound
explanation, I suspect the perception for most will remain quite
strong . . . wondering why did it happen in the first place?
It is also why I have a problem with politicians who use patriotic
intent and express patriotism for "political purposes". Just
wanting to serve one's fellow citizens as an elected official
indicates to me a strong love and pride of America. So, it
should never be about proving how patriotic one is during an
election campaign . . . And if one chooses to do so for whatever
reason, negative perception by a majority of voters is a potential
risk that might never be known until after the election. This
under the polling radar could be the difference in who wins, as well . . .
meaning marginally different discrepancy between the vote count and
the polling data.
Admittedly, the devastating terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001
awakened deeply rooted feelings towards the USA for most Americans
including me. (I too would have gladly forgone this awakening
to avert what did occur.) Then Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
renewed this national show of patriotic pride, which many also
expressed with charitable donations and volunteerism.
Yet, this national outward display of patriotism has diminished even
though we have troops in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan along
with the real possibility of another 911 like attack or even worse.
And while there are many factors for the dampening of this wonderful
national patriotic fervor, the national media along with the
political process in Washington have played a part. (You can
be your own judge on how much.)
As for me . . . my
"patriotic feelings" will continue to remain strongly on the surface
through my involvement with USA Patriotism! and elsewhere. And
the same can be said for many other Americans involved in their own
efforts. (There are a few who I have had the honor of meeting
too.) Others have also contributed patriotic poems, songs,
videos, stories, articles, and more to USA Patriotism! . . . which
are all heartfelt acts of patriotism.
I am also realistic about sustaining the
national level of patriotism brought about by the very black
September day in 2001 . . . Still, it would be really nice to see
more Americans again openly expressing love and pride of America by
just displaying the flag on the Fourth of July, other national
holidays, or everyday. And why not wear a flag pin, patriotic
shirt, USA cap, and/or other patriotic attire in support of our
troops serving in daily danger.
Finally, one of the best ongoing examples of patriotism in America .
. . is what our troops do everyday and the same goes for the
veterans when they served. Actions speak louder than words as
does one's patriotism shown . . . expressing and fostering love and
pride of America!
Note... You are
share how you show your patriotism.