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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Why patriotism is the heart of America
Sam C. Holliday
There has been an 11-percent drop in TV viewers of NFL games. Thirty-two percent of Americans think this is a direct result of protest inspired by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick over the shooting deaths of blacks by police.
On 23 October, Kaepernick said, "I don't understand why ratings would go down, [because I am] fighting for justice for people, to try to stop oppression." NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said he does not think these protests has anything to do with the ratings decline.
However, many Americans think disrespecting the flag and anthem, which represent the country for which many have died, is unpatriotic. While most Americans think each individual has a legal right to protest injustice, they do not think disrespect of the symbols of America is right; they think they in return have an obligation to stand up against such disrespect.
This highlights the fact that since the 1960s, progressives have attempted to deconstruct patriotism.
As a result, today, many progressive reject traditional patriotism and think expressing their feelings through criticism of the symbols of America is patriotic. Traditional patriotism is demonstrated by love, support, loyalty, defense, and sacrifice for one's country. It is an expression of moral certainty. It claims that there is right and wrong behavior. It puts the country ahead of factions based on ideology, politics, and personal ambition. It is objective and demands respect of the symbols of the nation. It values unity, accountability and security more than diversity and the pursuit of happiness.
"Unity, Accountability, and Security" by Holliday
The foundation of any nation is the unity, acceptance of accountability, and local security of, by, and for those who have accepted a Social Contract. This builds kinship and a common identity. But for any nation to grow, improve, and survive, the people must also be satisfied. This is achieved by the Social Contract checking and balancing what is legal with what is right according to custom and tradition. Yet when freedom, diversity, and the pursuit of happiness become more valued than unity, acceptance of accountability, and local security, the outcome is decline, decay, and chaos – and the end of that nation. This is why traditional patriotism is the heart of the American nation.
Patriotism for progressives is defined by feelings, emotions, and dreams. They claim that true patriotism is subjective, and depends on the life narrative of each individual or faction. This means that patriotism is defined by the memories, hopes, dreams, and feelings of each person or some faction. It claims that an objective view of patriotism is an illusion used by the powerful to manipulate people and oppress the disadvantaged. Therefore, opposition to policies a person or faction considers unjust are, in the minds of progressives, the highest form of patriotism.
This view of patriotism is the justification for the pregame protests by NFL players. However, the outcome of this view is decline in national identity and the end of "out of many, one nation with liberty and justice for all." It means continual conflict among many factions, each seeking its own version of social justice and its own agenda. It damages the heart of America.
The NFL is going to have to decide which meaning of patriotism it supports.