4 July 2017
Patriotism is something unique to the citizens of the United States. Patriotism is inextricably linked to the freedom we enjoy.
We have patriotism because it is our country. We founded it; we asserted our freedom - in the Declaration of Independence, on July 4th, 1776 - and we took it seriously: we fought for it; and as the British discovered and as Francis Scott Key put to words in writing the Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem, we will defend it - for to lose is to lose everything - "Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
America is the only country in history not founded by conquest. No dictator has ever imposed his rule upon the United States. Great Britain's King George III tried - and with the strongest military in the world at that time, he failed, and lost. And having won our independence - our freedom - neither did we relinquish it to a home-grown king.
Ours is the only country ever founded by its own population, by "We the People", with a Constitution we wrote and then voted upon, to establish that rarity, the Rule of Law, and specifically to make our Constitution the law of the land, which we used to define and authorize a government; in other words, the Constitution is above the government, uniquely existing beyond its power to change; a government limited by that Constitution to certain specified powers; a government not imposed, but which answers to the people, and which cannot legally broach the rights of the population which created it.
Americans created their government. The fact that mistakes have been made does not change the fact that America still retains its unique distinction: a limited government. People do, after all, make mistakes, or act for their own motives; the U.S. Constitution and the government it defines are designed specifically in light of that fact, and to address it. The abrogations of our liberty are the exception; they can be removed and undone; we can repeal the laws if we work to do so - in sharp contrast to the conditions in every other country on the planet - in every other country, where laws are imposed, beyond any recourse short of rebellion.
No wonder those other governments fear and hate us; no wonder they try to demean, dismiss, undermine, and destroy our freedom. The United States of America is a beacon - a lighthouse - of freedom, in the plain sight for subjugated people to see, wherever they live. When an American President says, "Tear down this wall," dictators tremble, fearful of their own subject population, and empires crumble. People need only point to the U.S. and say, "I know a place exists without tyranny; I know it is possible." Without even knowing how to build a country like the U.S., they want and strive for what patriotic Americans enjoy.
Who runs our government? We do. We elect each-other; we elect our neighbors. At the end of their term, they step down; the office passes along to the next winning candidate - peacefully; something not common in the rest of the world. The people of the United States run their own government. We are the Councilmen, Legislators, and Congressmen, we are the Judges, Prosecutors, and Juries, we are the Presidents, Governors, and Mayors. We are the Sheriffs, the Police and the Military; we are the Boards and Commissions; we are even the bureaucrats. We pledge allegiance to our country, because it upholds freedom, and we know that we must be the ones to run our country - or we will give it up by default to the worst kinds of politicians - the kinds of politicians that rule the rest of the world.
But in America, "politician" can be - and should be - an honorable profession. Only in America do people step up for a time to help govern, and then return to a life as a private citizen once more. Only in America are the personal interests of its politicians not the interests of the population - of the voters. Only in America do the military, the police - and even the politicians - swear to uphold, preserve, and protect the Constitution - and take that oath seriously. Only in America do citizens expect that oath to be taken seriously.
Only in America do people refuse to swear fealty to another human being - to forsake freedom: Americans swear allegiance to no prince, to no dictator. For the same reasons, America has no place for nationalism: America is a land of immigrants, who came to America to leave those connections behind, to re-invent themselves, as Americans
; America is not a "Fatherland"; it is not a "Motherland". America is "the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave" - America is the land of individuals, and of individual freedom: America is the Land of Patriots
"I will cower before no Master, save my God." In that single sentence is summed up the nature of Patriotism.
Patriotism is knowing how special is our freedom, how unique it is, and how our lives so depend on being patriotic - and in knowing and understanding how crucial Patriotism is to our way of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".
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