Monday, March 20, 2006


Patriotic Prose

I was listening to a Green Day song the other morning on the way to work. I think it was the American Idiot Song. Now these guys, with the punk background, have plently of politically motivated songs that poke fun at the more patriotic and nationalistic parties in American politics. Anyway, this song prompted me to think about my own particular poltical leanings. Currently, I am being pulled in two different directions.

My folks are rather patriotic conservatives -- stemming from two generations of military. No matter, how hard I try, I cannot break the love of the flag and the american military (I love war movies, especially Patton). My own political leanings are far more radical, yet frequently constrained by feasibility. So, I was pondering this question:

Is there an optimal amount of patriotism?

I do not trust the government, but because there is little I can do to seperate myself from it (even revolution will not), do I admire it and it's history. Or rather, should I admire it for its legends and mythology (as taught to us in school)?

In spite, of everything that is inherently problematic with the existence of a government, I can't help but love it!

I think that's sort of the natural human condition... to admire something greater than oneself. The national identity of the United States of America, rooted in military successes, in the valor of soldiers, is one of those things we perceive as great. Struggle and overcoming difficulty has been made a heroic notion going back to the early Jews.
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