Patriotism is not blindly following ones country as some think. Patriotism is working to ensure you’re your country lives up to your moral and ethical values both at home and abroad. As well as being critical of your country when it does not live up to those standards. Patriotism as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary is “The quality of being patriotic; love of or devotion to one's country” (Oxford 2014). That’s it. It doesn’t say you have to take any specific action like flying the flag, serve in any function such as the armed forces or support any particular party for election. However; devotion is usually manifested in some type of behavior. In fact the definition is open to interpretation and subjective at best. True American patriotism is based upon the ideals that our nation was founded upon. Those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the right to rebel if the government exceeds its boundaries.
Some say “our country right or wrong” is a nationalist view but I disagree. Hear me out. I believe that a patriot does speak out when the person feels that the country is wrong however; that same person should still support the country right or wrong by paying taxes, serving in the military, etc. AND should work to change those wrongs by voting. A patriot believes that the United States has the best system of government in the world today and espouse those views, EVEN when it’ policies, foreign or domestic, at times, are wrong. A patriot, when the country does not live up to their expectations, will actively vote and voice those expectations to change those wrongs.
Obviously in the past history of the United States, it has not lived up to its values. Some of those examples are Japanese internment camps during World War II, or as some like to call them, American concentration camps. These Americans patriotism was called into question simply for their ethnicity and they were imprisoned. Initially many Americans did not question their loyalty, but as weeks past public opinion changed. Patriots eventually changed public opinion and reparations and redresses were made. Many protestors, both left and right, democrat, republican, socialist, etc. have had their patriotism called into question at one time or another.
Some other examples are civil rights. In the past the United States has denied some of its citizens their civil rights. For African Americans the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as guaranteed in the declaration of independence, women the right to vote, and more recently the denial of homosexuals the same...