Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

On Patriotism

Happy Independence Day to all. Today is largely a day to celebrate, with back yard barbecues, the beach, family get togethers, etc. But it's also a time to reflect upon the meaning of the day, and our individual feelings about what it means to be an American. I consider myself a patriot, even though for much of my life I have found myself at odds with my country's government and its actions both at home an abroad. So for me, patriotism has mostly been about exercising my individual freedom and responsibility as an American to speak up against that which is wrong with the course that this once great country has embarked upon during my lifetime. Today I believe that America is in serious trouble, on the decline, and on the wrong path. Our course can be corrected and we can begin the process of reversing the damage done to America's image over the past 40 or so years, if we as a nation become less arrogant and self-satisfied, and we realize that now more than ever we have work to do to sustain our great American experiment in democracy. We must listen to to others instead of dictating to them. We must identify and elect a new breed of leadership, one that has a vision of returning America to its former greatness. It will be tough to do this with such an uneducated populace so easily manipulated by the dark forces of conservative thought. However, we once were great and it is helpful to reflect upon our sometimes glorious history. In perhaps our most shining moments we led the world in the fight against our Nazi and fascist enemies in WWII, we repudiated slavery, and we celebrated the successes of our own oppressed citizens in their struggle for civil rights, a struggle which continues to this day. These were, quite simply, challenges that we met as a people with right on our side and justice as our goal. Unfortunately, we as a nation have lost sight of these basic values. We no longer care about what is right and what is just. Hopefully, it's not too late to reverse this, but time is precious as we face severe challenges in this new century. We must all be patriots, which means we all need to demand a return to American greatness.


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