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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A word on patriotism

As we all know by the abundance of sales this weekend, Memorial Day was yesterday. A day to remember the brave men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms as citizens of the United States, a day where the nation takes a day off to think about and thank these people.

I think that Memorial Day is a great holiday. There is no doubt that American troops, past and present, deserve recognition, thanks, and respect.

And I know, I know, you aren't supposed to talk about religion, money, or politics, but let's try politics just for a moment.

A patriot is someone who openly criticizes his or her country with the hopes of bettering it. They are a satirist with a motive towards change. A nationalist is someone who blindly complies and supports his or her government without questioning its motives or actions.

I would consider myself a patriot. I have serious issues with the way the American government is working, but that doesn't mean that I don't love and respect the country in which I live. I have such awe and respect for our soldiers, but I don't respect the wars they fought in. I believe that the war in Afghanistan is unnecessary. The war in Vietnam was unnecessary. Some of the conflicts during the Cold War were unnecessary. Of course, these are my personal opinions, but I don't think I'm the only one with "USA" stamped on her passport who feels this way.

I disagree openly with many of the American government's actions. Be it parts of NSA surveillance, foreign policy (in general), Guantanamo Bay, abortion, healthcare, the lack of a limit on campaign contributions, education, etc., the issues facing today's government are astronomical.

A few years ago, during my "sassy teenager phase" (when I was 13-15 I was really quite a pain to my parents and was a smart aleck all the time), my mom used to tell me that I should be a lawyer due to my argumentative nature. This got me to thinking, maybe I should be one. I should go to law school and then get into politics, I thought to myself. However, I did not realize at the time how many disagreements I had with the American government and its policies. I did not realize that I hated the full-blown plutocratic policies happening before my eyes or the way that public education was becoming privatized.

Now that I am more aware of these issues, and feel that I am cognizant enough to take a public stance on them, I realize that I am no longer blindly pledging allegiance. I share my issues with you all in the hopes that you will see another perspective, or realize another facet to an issue that you may have been previously unaware of. My intention is to be a patriot, to show my support for American through pointing out its flaws in order to better it.

So, I do support our troops. How could I not? They continually lay down their lives and freedoms for me, the average American girl who sits at home and writes a blog, and you, the citizen who is reading this blog.

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day and that you take a moment to decide - are you a patriot, or a nationalist?

xx, Victoria
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Thoughts? I want to read them!
xx, Victoria