In today’s America, the party of Donald Trump has tried to equate patriotism with blind support of a would-be dictator. Many Republicans say that you can’t be a patriot if you don’t worship at the altar of Trump.
That’s not what patriotism is. Dictionary.com defines patriotism as “devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country.” It goes on to define nationalism as “excessive, aggressive patriotism,” by asserting that our interests are more important than what is in the interest of the common good.
America has long been the place where people from other countries come seeking a better life. As a nation of immigrants, we know we don’t have to be born into royalty or a caste, or follow a certain religion to have success. At least in theory, America is the “land of opportunity.”
I’m a patriot. I believe that America can be a shining example of how individuals and communities can work together for common good. As a patriot, I believe that it is my duty to help ensure a fair playing field for all Americans in all aspects of life. This includes equal access to food, housing, education, health care, and voting with a level playing field in justice and safety.
I’m more than an American patriot though, I’m a citizen of the world. In a global economy and with planet-wide climate change, we have to have a spirit of connection with all our brothers and sisters. This means I am willing to sacrifice some of my privileges as an American to ensure we have a healthy planet for future generations.
Patriots believe in the American dream, not just for Americans, but for the world.
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