Where’s Your Pride?

My version of patriotism is one that FOX would shun. I don’t believe in following any government blindly, regardless of its leader. I don’t agree with most wars. I, of course, was sad about 9/11, but as bad as it might seem, I enjoyed the sense of unity and goodwill that everyone seemed to share around that time. We were all working toward a collective goal, all being the best that we could. I was so proud of us.

I don’t know if we can get there again.

I mean, of course I hope we can. I would love for everyone to feel like we have each other’s backs. I would love it. I haven’t felt patriotic in years, especially after I realize who I become associated with once I say, “I’m American.”

The most popular Americans I know of are people like George W. Bush or Donald Trump. Maybe the Jersey Shore cast, Paris Hilton, or a nation of obese morons who are so asinine that they sue because they got what they wanted. I don’t want to be associated with any of these people. I don’t even like being associated with pilgrims or cowboys, because smallpox blankets are not American in the way that people want to perceive America, but they are most definitely American.

So now, Osama Bin Laden has been killed, and while part of me is ecstatic, the other part isn’t. He was obviously an asshole, to say the least. He helped to kill thousands of people, destroy millions of lives, and create this sense of paranoia and fear in everyone. He made TSA lines unbearable. He wasn’t the only one who did these things, though. He obviously wasn’t in the planes that flew into the World Trade Center. He wasn’t alone. I’m sure they will shortly have another leader, and we’ll have another enemy.

But I am so sick of people dying.

That’s my patriotism. It’s the kind where I love the freedoms provided to me by this country. I love going to sleep, not worried about someone raiding my house or arresting me for saying something they disagree with. I love that the education system was adequate enough to teach me to write, and that I could skip school to legally protest when things were going downhill. I love paying taxes (really, no sarcasm) because I figure it’s supporting my country. I just wish they would use my tax money for improving the education system, finding more sustainable sources of energy and putting them to use, or saving lives instead of ending them.

I realize that I probably sound like some naive hippie who has no idea what she’s talking about when I mention war. I haven’t been to war, I haven’t killed anyone, I haven’t seen what it’s like from a soldier’s perspective.

My dad has, though, and he’s showed me plenty that I would not regard as “pleasant.” I have watched him live with post traumatic stress disorder for my entire life. I’ve been raised by someone who, while he can still tell the difference between the nightmares that haunt him and reality, is sometimes bombarded with memories he would rather not have. I don’t wish that on anyone, and while I’m happy that he raised me (as a single parent, mind you) I’m sure that it would have been easier on both of us if we didn’t have to deal with that.

Now, I have several friends in the military who have children. They have told me their stories in different ways and given me whatever convoluted perspective I do have on war. I get that measures have been taken to prevent and treat PTSD, but I would rather that they don’t have to treat it and that their kids can grow up free of any possible repercussions. That is the main reason I’m against war. Kids should not have to deal with not having parents, or having parents who slip in and out of an inescapable terror.

I don’t blame the soldiers for the things that have happened, I have no right to. I blame the administrations who have commanded (or failed to command) these wars against ideas. No matter what you do, terrorism, communism, and whatever the sin-of-the-day is will all still exist. Killing a leader doesn’t kill what he stood for, it just gets rid of another body and probably provides a bit of closure for some of the people he harmed. Osama was not the idea of radical religion. I’m sure there are people from every religion who take things too literally, who transform blessings into curses. People like that will always be around.

The thing is, us being so afraid is exactly what they aim for. They want us to be insecure and think that they could be around a corner planting a bomb or boarding our plane. Us being afraid is exactly what they want, because it’s exactly what they are.

So please, please stop being so afraid. This applies to everyone. We all have to depend on each other, and it is not admirable to hide. Whether or not you reside in the “home of the brave,” you do live on this planet and can make a difference. Figure out what you’re good at and do it, don’t just sit around waiting for someone else to do it for you. Be brilliant, because each of us has the potential to be the best at something, and none of us will get there without trying.

Make the rest of us proud.

7 thoughts on “Where’s Your Pride?

  1. Opening up with politics? Bold move but I like it. Politics and Religion are by far the two hardest topics in my opinion to relate to but I see where you are coming from and I look forward to more of you blogs in the future.

  2. I pretty much agree with you. I’m a moderate person politically… in favor of clean energy, not going to wars unnecessarily (especially because of the tax funds that could be put to better use), etc. I also, like you seem to be, am happy that OBL was nailed. I think it’s good that we refocused our efforts on Afghanistan after Bush having distracted everyone with Iraq. But now I think it’s time to let those people decide for themselves whether they want to grab life and democracy and leave our soldiers’ lives and our taxpayers’ money out of it. We should take DEFENSIVE measures, and be prepared to strike again in response to attacks, but I don’t see us needing to invade entire countries under the guise of fighting terrorism. Terrorism has no real army or leader.

  3. Yes. I agree completely. I feel like my country is 75% garbage because of all the ignorant people or the selfish wealthy businessmen/political figures. It isn’t really that bad, there are good people that do good things, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel that way. And with the military, I hate how we spend so much time, money, and energy trying to eradicate terrorists in the middle east, when we have serious problems here at home. We have the most advanced military in the world, and it’s been 10 years, the fact that we’re still over there tells me we aren’t really making progress.

    *sigh*, Amurka’s got problems.

  4. Great post, but there will always be for every man who goes to college 2 that will jump off a building with paper wings no matter the country or religion.

  5. I agree with you. I’d have written something similar if I didn’t have such bad writers block as of late. Although, there might have been more Metal Gear references. Mentioning things like Outer Heaven and how MGS3 and Peace Walker made me think about Patriotism.

    On a closing but related note: “Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.” -Che Guevara.

  6. Pretty bold move, it’s a largely well known fact that Americans are associated with popular people or tv casts. You’d find it surprising when you go to another country and when you tell them you are from Dallas they automatically revert to the tv show. Or ask you if you’ve met 50 cent, etc. My response to almost everything you’ve talked about it good.. but I will say this. People are stupid, that is a big problem. We twist anything and everything to make it fit into our lifestyles, when that is just now how it’s supposed to be. Fox news does not blindly follow the government lol, if you’ve ever watched anything on that station they do the opposite in most cases. Comparing news stations to average people, I’d put my faith in the news stations. If we could all get past our greed and selfishness maybe we could be a great nation.

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