Quote of the Day: Patriotism

 

“There is a strong tendency in modern American society to treat patriotism as a dangerous sentiment, a passion to be guarded against. But this is a serious misconception. To begin with, we should acknowledge that there is something natural about patriotism, as an expression of love for what is one’s own, gratitude for what one has been given, and reverence for the sources of one’s being. These responses are instinctive; they’re grounded in our natures and the basic facts of our birth. Yet their power is no less for that, and they are denied only at great cost. When the philosopher Aristotle declared that we are by nature ‘political animals,’ he meant that we are in some sense made to live in community with one another. It is in our nature to be belonging creatures. One of the deepest needs of the human soul is a sense of membership, of joy in what we have and hold in common with others.”
— Wilfred M. McClay, Land of Hope

I celebrate Professor McClay’s description of patriotism. Too often we hear of people comparing patriotism to fascism, to a Nazi mentality, to a kind of primitive unifying theme for countrymen to come together. Instead, McClay explains that our patriotism brings us together to honor those values we hold in common, to share our joy of living in a country that was founded in freedom and gives us the opportunity to become our greatest selves.

The effort to denigrate patriotism is just another example of Progressivism’s determination to criticize America and all of us who celebrate her founding, and they discourage our efforts to reject tyranny wherever it shows its ugly face. We know that socialism is only one more step toward relinquishing our freedoms and destroying love of country.

On a personal level, I appreciate the values that support my pursuing my religion in any way I wish; that takes no position about how I live my life, what work I do, which people I associate with, what books I study, what guns I shoot. Every day, we see efforts to infringe on those opportunities we love.

We must continue to fight for those opportunities: patriotism is one way to challenge those who would strip us of them.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    How do you experience or express patriotism in your own life?

    • #1
  2. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    A lovely quote. Thank you.

    I have long thought that we as a people have lost the distinction between pride and arrogance. We’re so afraid of being seen as arrogant, we don’t dare to be proud. If you’re not proud of who you are, how can you respect yourself? And if you don’t respect yourself, you can’t respect anyone else.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    A lovely quote. Thank you.

    I have long thought that we as a people have lost the distinction between pride and arrogance. We’re so afraid of being seen as arrogant, we don’t dare to be proud. If you’re not proud of who you are, how can you respect yourself? And if you don’t respect yourself, you can’t respect anyone else.

    Beautifully stated, @douglaspratt. When we use our own pride to denigrate others, to feed our narcissism or elevate ourselves, that is a destructive pride. In pride of country (to me), there is a humility, gratitude and recognition of our good fortune to be in this country and let others know how much it means to us. Respect is a key attribute. Thanks.

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Susan Quinn: The effort to denigrate patriotism is just another example of Progressivism’s determination to criticize America and all of us who celebrate her founding, and they discourage our efforts to reject tyranny wherever it shows its ugly face. We know that socialism is only one more step toward relinquishing our freedoms and destroying love of country.

    Don’t want anything competing with loyalty to International Socialism.

    • #4
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    How do you experience or express patriotism in your own life?

    It used to be there were things that brought people of all opinions together – holidays like the Fourth of July, or events like sports and graduation ceremonies. Now you have negative politics come into play, so a liberal can’t celebrate the 4th because he would be acknowledging America is a great country. Leftists have turned sports into political forums, so now instead of choosing sides by team, we choose sides by our position on issues. Even graduation has turned political, with black-only ceremonies or protesters putting political slogans on top of their caps. And don’t get me started on keynote speakers . . .

    On our old porch, I would fly the US, South Carolina, and Confederate Battle flags (I haven’t gotten around to putting up the flag holders on the new deck yet). I wear a “Navy Veteran” tee shirt on Veterans Day, and not to get a free meal. I don’t want my car to get keyed, so I decided not to put stickers of any kind on it. I stand for the National Anthem and put my hand over my heart, even when I’m watching a game on TV. I cry when I see videos of deployed military returning home to surprise their families. I pray for our fallen on Memorial Day, but I celebrate the freedom they gave me by firing up the grill. Most important, I made sure my three daughters learned to appreciate everything about being an American, given they were born in Russia shortly after the fall of the USSR.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    How do you experience or express patriotism in your own life?

    It used to be there were things that brought people of all opinions together – holidays like the Fourth of July, or events like sports and graduation ceremonies. Now you have negative politics come into play, so a liberal can’t celebrate the 4th because he would be acknowledging America is a great country. Leftists have turned sports into political forums, so now instead of choosing sides by team, we choose sides by our position on issues. Even graduation has turned political, with black-only ceremonies or protesters putting political slogans on top of their caps. And don’t get me started on keynote speakers . . .

    On our old porch, I would fly the US, South Carolina, and Confederate Battle flags (I haven’t gotten around to putting up the flag holders on the new deck yet). I wear a “Navy Veteran” tee shirt on Veterans Day, and not to get a free meal. I don’t want my car to get keyed, so I decided not to put stickers of any kind on it. I stand for the National Anthem and put my hand over my heart, even when I’m watching a game on TV. I cry when I see videos of deployed military returning home to surprise their families. I pray for our fallen on Memorial Day, but I celebrate the freedom they gave me by firing up the grill. Most important, I made sure my three daughters learned to appreciate everything about being an American, given they were born in Russia shortly after the fall of the USSR.

    Awesome, Stad. Thank you.

    • #6
  7. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    I have long thought that we as a people have lost the distinction between pride and arrogance. We’re so afraid of being seen as arrogant, we don’t dare to be proud. If you’re not proud of who you are, how can you respect yourself? And if you don’t respect yourself, you can’t respect anyone else.

    The Biblical phrase “Pride goeth before a fall” has been mistranslated from the original Hebrew. The word “arrogance” is much closer than the King James version “pride.”


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. There are many open days on the November Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #7
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I still haven’t picked up a MAGA hat, so I’m not doing that.  I still plan to, some time.

    I like the patriotic songs, especially the Battle Hymn of the Republic.  I sometimes sing it in the car, when I’m alone, so I’m not inflicting the deficiency of my singing voice on anyone else.

    It’s interesting that almost all of the patriotic music has a religious component.  God Bless America, America the Beautiful, My Country ‘Tis of Thee.  I came to like the last one even better when I realized that it is set to the tune of God Save The King.  There’s something I like about this little poke in George III’s eye.

    The military branch anthems are also quite good, especially the Marines’ Hymn, which was my favorite even before my son became a Marine.  All of them are quite religious, too.  The Navy has two official songs — Anchors Aweigh, of course, but the official Navy hymn is titled “Eternal Father” but perhaps better known by the repeated line “For Those In Peril On The Sea.”  We share this one with the British, and it was FDR’s favorite hymn, sung at his funeral.

    This Land, by Woody Guthrie, is the only patriotic song I can think of that doesn’t directly reference God.  Guthrie’s original version ended each verse with “God blessed America for me,” but he crossed this out and replaced it with “this land was made for you and me.”  Even trying to cross out God, Guthrie couldn’t escape the religious impulse, as the land being “made” implies a Maker.

    Perhaps there are others that I have not recalled.

    There is something about love of family and love of country that is difficult to express without invoking the Divine.

     

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I still haven’t picked up a MAGA hat, so I’m not doing that. I still plan to, some time.

    I like the patriotic songs, especially the Battle Hymn of the Republic. I sometimes sing it in the car, when I’m alone, so I’m not inflicting the deficiency of my singing voice on anyone else.

    It’s interesting that almost all of the patriotic music has a religious component. God Bless America, America the Beautiful, My Country ‘Tis of Thee. I came to like the last one even better when I realized that it is set to the tune of God Save The King. There’s something I like about this little poke in George III’s eye.

    The military branch anthems are also quite good, especially the Marines’ Hymn, which was my favorite even before my son became a Marine. All of them are quite religious, too. The Navy has two official songs — Anchors Aweigh, of course, but the official Navy hymn is titled “Eternal Father” but perhaps better known by the repeated line “For Those In Peril On The Sea.” We share this one with the British, and it was FDR’s favorite hymn, sung at his funeral.

    This Land, by Woody Guthrie, is the only patriotic song I can think of that doesn’t directly reference God. Guthrie’s original version ended each verse with “God blessed America for me,” but he crossed this out and replaced it with “this land was made for you and me.” Even trying to cross out God, Guthrie couldn’t escape the religious impulse, as the land being “made” implies a Maker.

    Perhaps there are others that I have not recalled.

    There is something about love of family and love of country that is difficult to express without invoking the Divine.

     

    A great comment, Jerry. All the music you mention resonates with me, too. And you’re forgiven if you don’t wear a MAGA hat!

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    My own patriotism is a fairly new phenomenon for me. I loved the patriotic music, especially like marches of any sort, but I never related it to feelings about America. I have to say that my patriotism has grown greatly due to my time on Ricochet. We have so many patriots here, people who aren’t shy about owning their love of country, many who have risked their lives to protect this country and all our rights–how could I not be a patriot?

    • #10
  11. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    My own patriotism is a fairly new phenomenon for me. I loved the patriotic music, especially like marches of any sort, but I never related it to feelings about America. I have to say that my patriotism has grown greatly due to my time on Ricochet. We have so many patriots here, people who aren’t shy about owning their love of country, many who have risked their lives to protect this country and all our rights–how could I not be a patriot?

    This should have been part of the “why join Ricochet” post a few weeks ago.  “It’ll turn you into a flag-waving, MAGA-hat wearing patriot, just like Susan!”

    On a more serious note, your account of growing patriotism is moving.  You don’t have to discuss this if it is too personal, but I wonder if you have considered the factors that made you less patriotic in the past.  I know a bit, but not much, of your personal life story.  You seem to have reached a point at which you were drawn to traditional faith, Judaism in your case, and this appears to have coincided with a shift of values in the Judeo-Christian direction, which also would prompt a greater respect and reverence for our American heritage, so strongly based on those values.  Though it didn’t necessarily have to be in the order that I suggest, and all three of these factors — faith, values, and love of country — tend to be mutually reinforcing in America.

    Or at least in the America of the patriotic songs, which so many of us seem to have lost, and which explains the whole MAGA hat thing.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    My own patriotism is a fairly new phenomenon for me. I loved the patriotic music, especially like marches of any sort, but I never related it to feelings about America. I have to say that my patriotism has grown greatly due to my time on Ricochet. We have so many patriots here, people who aren’t shy about owning their love of country, many who have risked their lives to protect this country and all our rights–how could I not be a patriot?

    This should have been part of the “why join Ricochet” post a few weeks ago. “It’ll turn you into a flag-waving, MAGA-hat wearing patriot, just like Susan!”

    On a more serious note, your account of growing patriotism is moving. You don’t have to discuss this if it is too personal, but I wonder if you have considered the factors that made you less patriotic in the past. I know a bit, but not much, of your personal life story. You seem to have reached a point at which you were drawn to traditional faith, Judaism in your case, and this appears to have coincided with a shift of values in the Judeo-Christian direction, which also would prompt a greater respect and reverence for our American heritage, so strongly based on those values. Though it didn’t necessarily have to be in the order that I suggest, and all three of these factors — faith, values, and love of country — tend to be mutually reinforcing in America.

    Or at least in the America of the patriotic songs, which so many of us seem to have lost, and which explains the whole MAGA hat thing.

    I don’t think it’s too complicated, although I have to admit I haven’t given it much thought. A big part of it was starting to develop my Conservative views about 20 years ago, since I grew up with parents who were Democrats and very unengaged in the political scene. Certainly returning to Judaism may have reinforced those emerging views, especially the Orthodox Jews on this site who saw their Jewish values complementing their Conservative values. It was certainly easier to own up to my patriotism in this environment!

    Edit: I don’t wear a MAGA hat or any hat–it would mess up my hair!

    • #12
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    This is a good reminder that “patriotism” was trashed for decades by the same political side that now asserts that President Trump is a crypto-Fascist because he has praised “nationalism” instead of “patriotism.”

    • #13
  14. fidelio102 Inactive
    fidelio102
    @fidelio102

    To an Englishman such as myself, the very suggestion that patriotism is not a natural sentiment seems quite absurd.   

    Agreed, the dividing line between pride and arrogance is a thin one, and I do not deny that we British can at times seem arrogant (for fully justifiable reasons, of course), but I will endeavour (OK, endeavor) to explain why.  

    We in Britain are brought up to believe that we exist to serve our country.  I admit that a blind belief in Horace’s  Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori is perhaps not ethically justifiable.  The 900,000 British soldier s who laid down their lives between 1914 and 1918 were defending France and Belgium rather than their homeland.  But the creed which led them to do so was elegantly expressed by Sir Cecil Spring Rice, British Ambassador to Washington from 1912-1918, who wrote in a poem (Urbs Dei) from 1908:

    I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,                                                                                                     Entire and whole and perfect the service of my love,                                                                                                       The love that asks no questions, the love that stands the test,                                                                                    That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;                                                                                                             The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,                                                                                                 The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

    For us in Britain, patriotism is a faith :  a conviction which so many of my grandfather’s, and my father’s generations, died for.  Anyone who decries patriotism in front of us will get short shrift.

     

     

    • #14
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    fidelio102 (View Comment):
    For us in Britain, patriotism is a faith : a conviction which so many of my grandfather’s, and my father’s generations, died for.

    So,  how does the English flag go over these days? The Germans do not claim the blue checked Bavarian colors are “racist.” What of Saint George’s cross? 

    And what of instructions to your soldiers not to wear their uniform in public? Actually, this is not quite fair, as any British version of patriotism coexists with Rudyard Kipling’s observations in “Tommy [Atkins].”

    • #15
  16. fidelio102 Inactive
    fidelio102
    @fidelio102

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    fidelio102 (View Comment):
    For us in Britain, patriotism is a faith : a conviction which so many of my grandfather’s, and my father’s generations, died for.

    So, how does the English flag go over these days? The Germans do not claim the blue checked Bavarian colors are “racist.” What of Saint George’s cross?

    And what of instructions to your soldiers not to wear their uniform in public? Actually, this is not quite fair, as any British version of patriotism coexists with Rudyard Kipling’s observations in “Tommy [Atkins].”

    Unfortunately I cannot claim that my views any longer represent any generation other than my own, which is about to become extinct.  We at least lived our lives in peace, thanks not only to the sacrifices of the two previous generations, but also, it must be admitted, thanks to the American nuclear umbrella.

    • #16
  17. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

     All the difference in the world between top down and bottom up.

    • #17
  18. John Park Member
    John Park
    @jpark

    If you’re in Washington DC, between, say, Memorial Day and Labor Day, go see the Commandant’s Own and the Silent Drill Platoon from the Marine Barracks. That will make you proud of our country.

    • #18
  19. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    How do you experience or express patriotism in your own life?

    I fly the flag on holidays, read American history and talk about it, defend it on line, and vote for politicians who stand up for this country, if you know what I mean.

    • #19
  20. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    John Park (View Comment):

    If you’re in Washington DC, between, say, Memorial Day and Labor Day, go see the Commandant’s Own and the Silent Drill Platoon from the Marine Barracks. That will make you proud of our country.

    My daughter was in AF JROTC in high school and rose to first lt. Her officer corps presented a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns every fall before school started. I attended both ceremonies, but I was crying too hard to get any good pictures.

    • #20
  21. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    John Park (View Comment):

    If you’re in Washington DC, between, say, Memorial Day and Labor Day, go see the Commandant’s Own and the Silent Drill Platoon from the Marine Barracks. That will make you proud of our country.

    My daughter was in AF JROTC in high school and rose to first lt. Her officer corps presented a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns every fall before school started. I attended both ceremonies, but I was crying too hard to get any good pictures.

    I do have a good picture of Valerie, though. Pilot training, though she opted not to solo to focus on studies. Graduated with honors in 3 AP classes, polished off college in 3 years, first place at five national debate tournaments. I have a son who is pretty damn cool too. I’m blessed. I will stop bragging now.

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    John Park (View Comment):

    If you’re in Washington DC, between, say, Memorial Day and Labor Day, go see the Commandant’s Own and the Silent Drill Platoon from the Marine Barracks. That will make you proud of our country.

    My daughter was in AF JROTC in high school and rose to first lt. Her officer corps presented a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns every fall before school started. I attended both ceremonies, but I was crying too hard to get any good pictures.

    I do have a good picture of Valerie, though. Pilot training, though she opted not to solo to focus on studies. Graduated with honors in 3 AP classes, polished off college in 3 years, first place at five national debate tournaments. I have a son who is pretty damn cool too. I’m blessed. I will stop bragging now.

    I love to see parents bragging about their kids! And it sounds like you have two great ones! You are blessed.

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    I do have a good picture of Valerie, though.

    Good thing she doesn’t have your beard.

    • #23
  24. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Arahant

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    I do have a good picture of Valerie, though.

    Good thing she doesn’t have your beard.

    Fortunately, she gets her looks from her mother’s side.

    • #24
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