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Within some groups in America, it is considered cool or “smart” to be unpatriotic, or even antipatriotic. The holders of such attitudes cast doubt on their understanding of reality.

What is patriotism?

By definition, patriotism is “love of and loyal support of one’s country.” In today’s fragmented political environment, it is perhaps too much to hope for universal love of country, but without the loyal support of all its citizens, our survival as a nation is at grave risk.

Patriotism is the basis of all nations

Civilization began when family groups banded together to jointly protect their lives and livelihoods. Without this patriotic cooperation, civilization would never have developed. The relative security provided by mutual protection enabled the development the tools of civilization.  Mutual cooperation eventually evolved into nations, which exist solely to provide security for their citizens. Nations developed social, ethical, language and religious systems that helped to unify their citizens and protect their common interests.

What does patriotism protect?

Over the centuries, we Americans have established a unique nation with a set of shared values that shape our view of a just society. When compared to our deeply held common values, the differences among us are relatively minor. We are blessed to be citizens of the United States. With much hard work, many sacrifices and good-fortune, our country has developed into possibly the greatest nation ever to exist. But history shows that this greatness is not forever guaranteed. The best we can hope for is that by working together we can maintain our unique nation well into the future. The key to survival of the “American way of life,” is to protect our country and its ideals at all costs. The willingness to do whatever it takes to preserve the United States and protect our precious freedoms is called patriotism.



Should we be concerned about whether or not our nation survives? Is not the world growing more international each day, making nations obsolete? If nations are out of date, who would preserve our society and protect our citizens: perhaps some international organization? There has been talk of a North American union. We and our Canadian friends have mostly common traditions, but Canada is already fractured into two linguistic and social divisions. Mexico has so many unsolved problems of its own that a closer association with Mexico will only acerbate U.S. troubles. Should we turn to the United Nations for protection and economic support? How many of the 192 member nations actually wish to be helpful to us? Are we to trust our fortunes to the inept and often corrupt UN bureaucracy? The answers to these questions are a resounding “no.” We must prepare for our own future; foreigners will not protect our interests.


Some people think that patriotism is not necessary: that with very little effort, we can be safe in our borders.  Thay think that by withdrawing from the affairs of the world we would isolate ourselves from potential enemies. Isolationism has a long history in this country, but has never been a successful policy. We tried isolationism in 1812, 1861, 1917, 1939 and prior to 2001. In each case, not facing reality caused us to be unprepared.

Ignoring problems is not the same as dealing with them. Until recently we largely ignored the influx of uninvited immigrants. Regardless of our various opinions about immigration, there can be no denying that it has become a major legal, social and economic problem. For years we more or less ignored the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. This ignorance was far more costly in lives and treasure that an active prevention policy would have been. Modern entanglements of international trade, investments, communications and terrorism render isolationism completely unrealistic. 


Parades, flags and holiday celebrations are grand displays patriotic spirit and should be encouraged. However, real patriotism is a long-term commitment to doing what it takes to ensure that the benefits our country provides for its citizens (and the world) continue far into the future. Patriotism requires a small amount of sacrifice from each of us and, sadly, the ultimate sacrifice from some of us. Not much can be done be done to change the attitudes of those whose limited understanding of life causes them to reject the national interest.

marines defending


These are not professional warriors; they are ordinary young Americans making great sacrifice to help protect our country.


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