Patriotism isn’t waving the flag and standing for the national anthem – that’s all show. Real patriotism supports our democracy, whether that means giving your time and energy to improve your community and country or paying your taxes to support our infrastructure and institutions. Lobbying for lower taxes, seeking tax loopholes and hiding money abroad undermines the democratic system.
The United States was founded on respect for the justice system and balance of powers – executive, judicial and legislative – and a free press. Thomas Jefferson once said, if he had to choose between government a free press, he would choose the latter!
We should not court foreign dictators and excuse tyranny, because we believe in equal rights (including political rights) equal opportunities and tolerance of differences. As the US flag waves this week, I leave you with the words of Walt Whitman and a song from Pete Seeger expressing the ideals on which this country was built.
Did you, too, O friend, suppose democracy was only for elections, for politics, and for a party name? I say democracy is only of use there that it may pass on and come to its flower and fruit in manners, in the highest forms of interaction between people, and their beliefs – in religion, literature, colleges and schools- democracy in all public and private life. Walt Whitman
… I got a song to sing, all over this land.
It’s the hammer of Justice,
It’s the bell of Freedom,
It’s the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land. Pete Seeger