Throughout my adult years hints of this very question have come to mind but I don’t think it was until the past six months that the various aspects of this seemingly simple question have coalesced in my little brain. Behaviors, politics, military issues and other factors have nudged at my beliefs. I could either dismiss such questions outright in blind comfortable denial or if I were truly honest with myself it would give me cause to think, question or even change my position.
Which has led me to the heart of this question – What makes a patriot? What does it mean to be patriotic? Is simply putting a flag outside your door or a magnetic ribbon on your SUV good enough? Is someone who wears a t-shirt emblazoned with “USA #1” also a patriot or jingoist? Where is the line between being patriotic and being overly nationalistic? Xenophobic? Is a person patriotic if they think “This is America, love it or leave it!” Or is the person who thinks “There are some problems here that really need changed” more patriotic? I ask these questions because at the heart of it I have ideas of what a patriot is but I’m not sure where the line in the sand really is. Who is the patriot and who is just along for the ride?
Recently I have heard something like “You can be one of us if you’re a true patriot”. But now what does that mean? Does that infer untrue patriots are lurking? Aren’t those called traitors?
I could give you the definition copied and pasted straight from a dictionary website but A) you’re a big enough person to look it up on your own, and B) I don’t think it covers all the bases. But what does it mean to you?