The word terrorist has become synonymous with traitor, and now it is thrown around like a football. If you’re not for America, you're against it. At what point did questioning the rule of government become traitorous. Protesting is a protected right engrained in the constitution and yet the restrictions placed on it in the name of public safety are becoming too many to count. For the safety of the public it is now illegal to protest in any area under classified as a ‘National Special Security Event’, anywhere involved in food production, and anywhere involved in energy production. The first amendment clearly states that congress may make “no laws abridging the freedom of speech, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.” Any event under the jurisdiction of the secret service is considered a National Special Security Event, this includes ...view middle of the document...
Today the word patriotism is almost synonymous with nationalism. There is an “if you're not with us, you're against us” mentality. Image search on Google for ‘American Patriotism’ and you will get results from waving American flags to Uncle Sam pointing in your face. Words like ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ and ‘courage’ all plastered across the stars and stripes. It’s a mosaic of red white and blue, with quotes of nationalism. American nationalism is one of the strongest idea’s to take hold around the world. The American flag is sold in every grocery store and is flying in almost every neighborhood across the country. There are support our troop ribbons on millions of cars. In school children learn to ‘be patriotic’ by saying the pledge and in some cases singing nationalistic songs before the school day begins. Patriotism isn’t about singing songs and flying flags, it’s about questioning everything and accepting only what is acceptable.
The American Patriots were rebels. The fought against an established government because it was an unacceptable system. They fought for revolution and earned the term patriot. Today everyone is a patriot because they know what the national anthem is and they fly an American flag. Thomas Pain wrote “The duty of a True Patriot is to protect his Country from its Government”. And yet in today’s world protesters are treated as unpatriotic terrorists because the government does not like the messages being broadcasted. When police show up in riot gear with military grade equipment, you know the system has failed. Not always is the one with the stronger military the patriot, it’s almost always the opposite. The right of assembly and the right to petition for a redress of grievances are enshrined in our culture, but get people scared of an invisible enemy and they will give up a lot to feel safe.
Howard Zinn stated “dissent is the highest form of patriotism”. With this definition it would seem that the most American thing an American can do is protest, and yet here we are passing laws left and right restricting the very act. Does that also mean the more illegal the act of protesting becomes, the more patriotic, and in turn American, it becomes?