10/18/16

A dangerous patriotism

This article by John Blake is exceptionally good:

For the love of America: How the Obama era gave us a dangerous patriotism

This was a dangerous type of patriotism, not a polite demonstration or mild civil disobedience. It was the kind that could get you fired from your job, shunned by your community, beaten or killed.
Yet it was the kind of patriotism that made progress possible in America, said Ralph Young, author of "Dissent: The History of an American Idea." He said people often forget the United States was founded by political and religious dissenters fleeing Europe. They put the right to dissent in the Constitution, he said.
"Dissent is the fuel for the engine of progress," said Young, a history professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. "Inertia is built into institutions. Things don't change unless people push for change."

and

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura posted a video online in which he said he fully and completely supported Kaepernick. He literally saluted Kaepernick for having the courage of his convictions and said "whether I agree with him or not is irrelevant."
Ventura recalled that he vetoed a bill when he was governor that would have required the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in every Minnesota public school.
"You know why?" he said in the video. "Because governments should not mandate patriotism. ... Who mandated patriotism? The Germans in the 1930s."

and

But maybe it could be one day. That's the hope that has helped so many Americans in the past who felt like outsiders. How does society accommodate this new form of patriotism that incorporates the good, bad and ugly of America, but still looks forward to something better in the future?
Maybe I'll never stand for the anthem. But for the first time as an adult, I can find the words and examples to explain why I think America is exceptional.
You may prefer the "love it or leave it" America. But I, and I suspect many others, believe in another America -- "the one that never was and yet must be."