A thought occurs regarding America. No it is not perfect, yes corruption is still there, and yes America is still a victim of a conflict of values (individualistic freedom versus religion and its creeping authoritarianism, despite America being founded against authoritarianism), but I for one think it is not beyond saving, not so long as there are those who alert America to what really matters: liberty, what it means, and the dangers to it. The people who do this are patriots. When there is corruption and threats to liberty and justice for all, we need people to keep us and the country alert and keeping an eye on our own liberty.
To be a real American patriot doesn’t have to mean blind obedience to the American government and its laws, nor should it. It can mean using the gift of Liberty to brighten oneself and the country. To be a patriot can mean to defend the country’s liberty and preserve its justice, whatever that may entail, including the exposure of any secret goings-on on the part of the government and its members. A patriot does not need to worship the flag, only to honor his country without submitting himself. A patriot may even need only a commitment to the ideals of liberty and justice, not necessarily the country. I for one would support that kind of patriotism if that’s what it means.
It appears in the modern age it’s popular to have a somewhat anti-American sentiment. People from the rest of the world, and even America itself, have caricatured America as land of stupid, putrid, ignorant, bellicose children, as if suddenly the rest of the world was gold. Americans aren’t all as stupid as someone in, say, Europe might think. Remember that stupidity is not a solely American thing, any more than it is exclusive to any other nation. Also, need I mention most of the world’s top universities are American? Stupidity is a human thing, all of humanity is capable of it, and all of humanity exerts it. And yet somehow we feel comfortable with concentrating it one nation. Greed is also not just an American thing. Yes America has fat cats who spend their days making a mockery of capitalism while sowing the seeds of corruption, but this happens everywhere else in the world too, seemingly all the time. But America is most likely nowhere near as corrupt as many other nations. And even though politicians are often corrupt, I doubt that America is anywhere near as fascist or totalitarian as detractors have claimed. The plain and simple truth is that America is no worse than most of the rest of the world.
In America, people complain a lot, and it’s pretty natural to be resentful of the government (in fact, a lack of trust in the government is a good quality as opposed to blind obedience, since it can be applied to the virtue of keeping the government held accountable), but I heavily doubt America itself is as bad as they say it is. In fact, in America you’re completely free to complain about it with impunity, just as much as you’re free to say what you want, believe what you want, and enjoy as much unfiltered porn as you want (unlike in some countries that place control over the Internet and pornography). In fact, I think many would rather that America is either absolutely good or absolutely evil. It’s not perfect, no nation is, but it’s one of the best. And even though the rest of the world may criticize America, sometimes for good reason, I think we’re forgetting what America brought to the world that the rest of the world owes it. In particular, the revolutionary understanding of the concepts of freedom and liberty, which has influenced the rest of the world in some way.
As I said I will admit there is corruption, religion still sometimes makes a mockery of America’s founding principles, the past sometimes still leaves a something to be desired, and Hollywood is still making too much money for being dumb and uncreative (and blocking creativity), but I think that not only is America not as bad as they say it is, but it’ll be OK as long as the people actually use their gift of liberty in vigilance over liberty and justice. If the American people are key to the integrity of the nation, then the people should act like it.