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Old 05-20-2012, 11:06 AM
Jaime Lannister Sweden Jaime Lannister is online now
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Re: Proud to be American?

Just because a country is comparatively better than others doesn't mean it can't be scrutinized and critiqued thoroughly. Why should my country's past deeds diminish its current flaws?
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:23 AM
Bill Bill is a male United States Bill is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

Aside from my earlier point about how I think it's silly to be "proud" of the fact that you happened to be born in a particular place, there are many reasons why I think America's greatness is exaggerated. The ideals of this country are wonderful, but the actual people much less so.

-Given our material wealth, America is a stupid nation. Our student's mediocre performance compared to other developed nations is widely known.

-America's crime rates are much higher than most other developed nations. So are the incarceration rates. In fact, I believe I read that 1 in 100 Americans are currently in jail. Yet this is supposedly the land of the free.

-Many people will see this as a positive, but America's rate of religiosity is much higher than other developed nations. Unsurprisingly, America lags behind other developed nations in social justice issues like granting the right of marriage to homosexual couples. Far fewer Americans accept the theory of evolution than other developed nations.

-America is a fat country. While this obviously correlates with material wealth, this does not have to be the case. Canada has half as many fat people as America despite a similar standard of living. Plenty of wealthy nations boast lower rates of obesity than America.

Overall, is life awful in America? No--certainly not enough to compel me to leave. As I said, I'm grateful to have been born here, especially when the odds favor being born into a place like China.

But the rhetoric of patriotism is tired and obnoxious. "Countries" are non-sentient social constructs. I care about people; I don't give much of a damn about the glory of a country. If America ceased to exist, but I could still enjoy the same standard of living, it wouldn't really make a difference to me. When you really think about it, why should it?

Why is patriotism a virtue? It's because humans have a natural, maybe unavoidable drive to form groups; there is something about forming groups (in this case, based on nothing but geographical proximity) that provides us comfort, a sense of belonging. If you don't buy into the patriotic ideals, you are a threat to the group and you will be ostracized for it.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:51 AM
ich Will Swedish Empire ich Will is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

People are free to be proud of the US but personally I think it's not THE best place to live...but it's definitely in the top 10 so to speak
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:08 PM
Blak Blak is a male North Korea Blak is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

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Originally Posted by Gamzee View Post
Just because a country is comparatively better than others doesn't mean it can't be scrutinized and critiqued thoroughly. Why should my country's past deeds diminish its current flaws?
Yeah, however the quality of your country is something that you take for granted. I could rant for an hour about the problems in Britain, but at the end is somebody said 'I have magic tickets here that will allow you to magically swap lives and locations with one randomly-selected person", I'd say "no, I'm happy enough here, and where the hell did you get those tickets?"

I'm sure I had a point... Oh, yeah. I feel that people in all MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries for those who haven't done GCSE geography) don't really appreciate the good things about their country. I'll admit your country has flaws (whoever you are), but if you're posting on these boards, you could be a lot worse off. People who couldn't be worse off are largely incapable of posting on these boards.

In all of human history, I can only think of one country that has managed to achieve perfection in government methods. Then they were invaded by china. They were Tibet. I may even be wrong in this case.

Also, Gamzee, why do you use the Ethiopian flag?
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:29 PM
Jaime Lannister Sweden Jaime Lannister is online now
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Re: Proud to be American?

Sure, I have no doubt that there are people in America and Britain and Canada and whatnot who take for granted luxuries like buildings literally full of food that they can go and choose what to eat rather than having to find berries and trees. Some people take for granted indoor plumbing or may not appreciate that they live in a fairly free country and don't have to worry about being killed on the spot for speaking out against their government.

Sure, I'm proud of some things America has done like abolishing slavery (even if we were pretty late on that one), and helping Europe out during WW2. Regardless I think its silly to glorify a nation's past and try to justify its current problems by saying "yeah, well, you did nice things in the past."


Re my flag: I love smoking marijuana and the Ethopian flag is commonly associated with Rastafarians.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:55 PM
Lysis Antarctica Lysis is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

since I have had nothing to do with making the United States the place it is, good or bad, and I had nothing to do with the fact that my family lives here and I was therefore born here, I have nothing to be proud of. By and large, I think it's ridiculous to be proud of an entire nation—the United States has its merits and it also has some serious problems and I think it's somewhat ignorant to sum up the whole thing as "well sure it's not perfect but it's pretty good anyway."

we should be proud of accomplishments and disappointed at shortcomings on an individual basis.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:31 PM
CymbalsMonkey United States CymbalsMonkey is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

What I don't understand is why people act like it is foolish to be proud of being from a certain country, but there is no problem by being ashamed of being from a certain country.

Maybe I've gotten the wrong impression considering I haven't read the whole thread. I would have read it all, but it looked like it was starting to become a "This is why America is evil" or a "My country is better than yours" ❤❤❤❤ throwing contest.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:52 PM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

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Originally Posted by Bill View Post
Why is patriotism a virtue? It's because humans have a natural, maybe unavoidable drive to form groups; there is something about forming groups (in this case, based on nothing but geographical proximity) that provides us comfort, a sense of belonging. If you don't buy into the patriotic ideals, you are a threat to the group and you will be ostracized for it.

Nope. This is why Americans have been patriotic. Its a matter of survival. Support the group so we don't get stomped by the other guys.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:01 PM
Lysis Antarctica Lysis is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

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Nope. This is why Americans have been patriotic. Its a matter of survival. Support the group so we don't get stomped by the other guys.
mmm, patriotism. It's us versus them, right?

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Old 05-20-2012, 07:41 PM
Bill Bill is a male United States Bill is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

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Originally Posted by mattj View Post
Nope. This is why Americans have been patriotic. Its a matter of survival. Support the group so we don't get stomped by the other guys.
Maybe if we didn't divide ourselves into countries and actually shared resources evenly, that wouldn't happen . Forming groups in the first place causes that sort of aggression.

Even morally, I think patriotism is problematic. Even if you have to fight, it should be for justifiable reasons, not just because you're from of a particular country. How is that any different from one street gang protecting their interests from another? As far as I can tell, the same reasoning applies (loyalty to the group).
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:34 PM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

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Originally Posted by MorbidDelight View Post
I was referring to the developed nations of the world. Obviously, America's doing better than 75% of the nations out there, but the fact remains that we are behind in many aspects when compared to countries such as Canada or Australia. You cannot deny this.
If I'm in the top 25%, then why would I care that Canada and Australia may be nicer? Nicer to you, or someone else maybe, but I wouldn't trade where I am for anything. And the fact is, I could. I, and millions of others, have the opportunity and money to do so. But we like it here. Is that the case for Mexico, or India, or Pakistan, or 75+% of the countries out there? No. They want to flee those hellholes for us. Whoopdeedee, one country has a better education system, too bad they have restrictive laws concerning freedoms, or another country has a more productive economy, that's nice, too bad they have a broken judicial system. You cannot make the blanket statement that Canada or Australia have every single thing perfect and that America is some hellhole. We are an excellent country where we are free, and wealthy, and well taken care of.
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NCLB is setting up a strict caste system that will only become more evident with time, as well as failing to meet it's purpose.
Education Index - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
U.S. Can Learn From Other Countries' Education Systems - High School Notes (usnews.com)
Comparing Canada and the U.S. on Education - The Futures of School Reform - Education Week
America continues to fall behind with it's outdated education model.
No way! Our huge, diverse country of 300+million people spread across countless thousands of square miles has a lower average than a handful of tiny homogenous countries? I would never have suspected!
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United States Still No. 1?
Not all education experts agree that American schools are on the wrong path.
Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, said that contrary to what we always hear, American schools have never been better.
“I happen to be one of those people that very much is convinced that in spite of the issues we have in public education in America, it’s still the best school system in the world,” he said. “We are the standard.”
Domenech said that partly due to the American education system’s constant push for improvement, it’s easy to view the data pessimistically.
“Yes, we can point to the fact that the graduation rate is only 70 percent and we should be doing better,” he said. But “it’s not like we dropped from 80 percent. The graduation rate continues to grow year after year. Fifty years ago, the percentage of kids graduating from high school was maybe 30 or 40 percent.”
Domenech concedes that the test scores of some countries have surpassed those of the United States, such as Singapore, New Zealand and, yes, Finland.
But these countries are small and homogenous, he said.
“Do we want to compare Finland to one of our rich suburbs? … Let’s face it, some of the finest schools in the world are in our suburbs.”
As an example, Domenech cites Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax, Va., where he once served as superintendent. In December, for the second year in a row, U.S. News & World Report listed Jefferson High as the nation’s No. 1 public high school.
“Does Finland have a better high school than Thomas Jefferson? I doubt it,” he said.
What separates America from the rest of the world, Domenech said, is diversity.
“In Japan, all the students are Japanese,” he said. “In Fairfax, we had over 140 languages that were spoken. I didn’t even know that there were that many languages spoken in the world.”
Domenech said America’s educational success comes down largely to the country’s abundance of money.
With money, he said, American schools have been able to reduce class size, hire teachers at higher salaries, purchase sophisticated grading and attendance software and furnish classrooms with good computers.
Invariably, he said, the schools that fall behind are the ones filled with students who are poor.
“This isn’t brain surgery here,” he said. “The more wealth, the better the kids are going to do in school. If we want to close the achievement gap, we need to drive the money and the resources.”
What Are American Schools Doing Right?
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COUNTLESS rags to riches stories? No. Just no. That plays into our crappy social welfare system; we offer the poor a check, but do we offer them any ways to actually rise up like a quality education that's very accessible? No. You cannot tell me that you think someone born in intercity Detroit and has to go to that horrid school system has even the slightest chance of moving up in the world. Really, much of it relates back to our outdated education model and how we distribute funding.
Yes. Yes I can tell you just that.
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And how are you even going to say that any developed nation worships guns the way the US does?
Because, if you haven't noticed, our nation as a whole does not worship guns. I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't own a gun. I might at some point in the future. The only people that I know that do own guns have them to hunt. I live in the rural Midwest, and yet I don't know a single person who owns a gun just to own a gun.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:47 PM
Double A Double A is a male New Zealand Double A is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

Quote:
You cannot make the blanket statement that Canada or Australia have every single thing perfect and that America is some hellhole. We are an excellent country where we are free, and wealthy, and well taken care of.
Was he even making this statement?
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:22 PM
Major Liftz Major Liftz is a male United States Major Liftz is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

All in all, no.

America has so many flaws it's not even funny. I will move to either Canada, Britten or Scotland as soon as I can.

I could go on a rand how the Right Wing is bat❤❤❤❤ insane and ruining this place, but I don't feel like getting an infraction or a ban today.
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:32 PM
Daring Do Daring Do is a female United States Daring Do is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

Personally I am not proud. While its true that America has accomplished many feats, the shortcomings in recent years outweigh those victories in my opinion. America is backwards, to put it bluntly. since I was born here and never really had a say in that matter, I can honestly say if I could pick and chose where I would have been born, America would be at the bottom of the list.
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:33 PM
princesspanty princesspanty is a female United States princesspanty is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

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Originally Posted by Red Shadows View Post
All in all, no.

America has so many flaws it's not even funny. I will move to either Canada, Britten or Scotland as soon as I can.

I could go on a rand how the Right Wing is bat❤❤❤❤ insane and ruining this place, but I don't feel like getting an infraction or a ban today.
And other countries do not have major flaws as well?
I mean, if you really do not like this country's flaws, for god's sake do something about. Try to make a difference. Don't just sit there and complain about it.

Quote:
Personally I am not proud. While its true that America has accomplished many feats, the shortcomings in recent years outweigh those victories in my opinion. America is backwards, to put it bluntly. since I was born here and never really had a say in that matter, I can honestly say if I could pick and chose where I would have been born, America would be at the bottom of the list.
Really because at the bottom of my list, it's be a third world country without any privileges.
Personally, I'm neutral on whether or not I'm proud of my country. We've made pretty bad choices, as every other nation has, thank you very much. But I am happy I live here.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:01 PM
Sweet SS Zelda Sweet SS Zelda is a male Canada Sweet SS Zelda is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

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Originally Posted by Red Shadows View Post
All in all, no.

America has so many flaws it's not even funny. I will move to either Canada, Britten or Scotland as soon as I can.

I could go on a rand how the Right Wing is bat♥♥♥♥ insane and ruining this place, but I don't feel like getting an infraction or a ban today.
I agree with you, Red Shadows.

What does Canada, Britain, and Scotland has that the United States does not have? There are many things. A truly democratic country has more than two major political parties. I believe that the United States would improve if it has a major social democratic party (the Democrats are not exactly social democratic like the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada or Labour of Britain; the Democrats are more like the Liberals in Canada and the Liberal Democrats in Britain). I know this because I personally know many Americans who moved to Canada because Canada has a more comprehensive health care system, more livable cities (especially given that cities are generally more compact (thereby increasing tolerance and public transit use, while decreasing crime)), and it has a social democratic political party by the name of the New Democratic Party. Canada also has a healthier financial system and its cities have a very hot real estate market (of all the G8 countries, Canada was the one least affected by the Great Recession).

If I were an American, I would move to Canada once I become financially independent. Fortunately, I live in Canada and was born in Canada. I view myself as a Canadian.

How to improve a country? Vote for who you think would improve the country! Say something! Go to a public open house meeting on specific issues you care about and write on the comments about what you think should happen. I care strongly about public transit (which is a major issue in urban areas) and I regularly attend meetings about it. Civic participation and voting are ways to be truly patriotic (sorry flag-wavers and anthem singers), since doing so can change the outcome of the country's future, no matter how small. Yes, I vote NDP for federal and provincial politics and for the most progressive mainstream mayoral candidate and city councillor in municipal politics (since municipal politics is non-partisan where I live).

I share some of your concerns, Red Shadows, about right wing politicians. In Canada, our prime minister is Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party (similar to the Republicans, but not as extreme) and our mayor, Rob Ford (I live in Toronto by the way), is also an extreme right-winger. Dalton McGuinty, premier of Ontario, is a Liberal. I will not rant further about right-wing politicians, because I fear being infracted.

As a progressive social democrat, I admire the late Jack Layton (former federal NDP leader) deeply. He is such a good politician and is my favourite politician. Canada would be very different if it were not for Layton's progressive social democratic ideas.
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  #57 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 05-21-2012, 12:24 AM
Death Valley 69 Death Valley 69 is a male United States Death Valley 69 is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

I am not proud of a lot of the events our government has participated in such as the Trail of Tears, or the Japanese camps during WWII, and I don't support what we did in Iraq, or Vietnam. There was a time I was totally patriotic, and it was pretty much during the early post-9/11 years (which led me to becoming a firefighter, a job I very much enjoy) and I remember being blinded by conservative lies, and I was kind of a bigot. I hate that, and I hate how so many Americans are so bigoted. Would I chose to live somewhere else? Hell no, we have too many luxuries here, so why move?
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:37 AM
Flames of Valor United States Flames of Valor is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

I am proud to be American. It's not a simple coincidence of birthplace either; I need only reference two great people who were born outside of America, yet adore it and gravitate towards it because of what she is, where she came from, and what she is capable of. Both the late Christopher Hitchens and Ayn Rand became American citizens, despite being born in other nations; Christopher Hitchens being perhaps my favorite reference to this point due to my reverence for the man.



America was founded on some of the best philosophies of the enlightenment; men like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin carried those ideas with them, ensuring that they shaped and integrated into her founding ideologies and the language of the earliest American documents. Pride in America and American patriotism is not putting anti-Obama bumper stickers on your car, or toting the second amendment as your excuse to be an idiot.

Being proud to be a citizen of a nation and to be a patriot is to find real use and merit in the principles of said nation, and to then live them.


There aren't many, if any, better examples of this than the men of the American revolution and what they accomplished with their rational minds, their words, and their idealism -- their patriotism.

Patriotism, can also be used in negative ways, of course. When reformations occurred in nations which reduced them to theocracies and tyrannies, patriotism became the tools with which the despots motivated and mobilized the masses to violate those peoples' very freedoms and liberties for the benefit of themselves. Much like the human capacities for thought, action, and strength, patriotism is a useful tool, but one which can succumb to misuse and be used to facilitate destruction. However, this cannot be considered the rule, merely what we desire to avoid.

All of this talk concerning test scores, general life span, and "quality of life" are irrelevant to me. What I am concerned about, and what interests me is what guides the people that compose those statistics. As it stands now, I feel I am safe to declare that the majority of people in the borders of the United States do not share the ideals which lead to the founding of their nation, and that they are sorely unaware of many, if not all of them and what they mean for everyone on Earth. Those people may be American citizens, but I hardly consider them patriots despite many of their protests to the contrary.

In reference to patriotism being a useful tool and its ability to impact people across borders and seas, let me now say that American patriotism, and indeed patriotism not necessarily from America, is part of the solution to our fragmented and divided world. Patriotism and idealism are ways for people to bond together and part from fragmentation in order to better facilitate the growth of infrastructure and technology through the use of teamwork and unification. The absorption of other peoples and nations into such patriotic ideals further eliminates fragmentation and moves the globe closer to social and technological unity.

One day, it may cease to be an "American ideal" or an "ideal of the enlightenment" and will then transcend into the realm of a globally shared ideal. However, looking back, and until that day comes -- whilst we still must endure the divides between both peoples and nations, it shall be known as it is now. And it shall be known that it (if we are successful) aided in facilitating what will hopefully become a more prosperous world.

Being proud to be a citizen of a nation and to be a patriot is to find real use and merit in the principles of said nation, and to then live them.
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:47 AM
Arcanine Arcanine is a male Japan Arcanine is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

I am very proud to be an american. I am not going to lie however, we have our issues, such as celebrities getting more leeway with laws then any other american citizen. Our government is growing more and more corrupt, politicians saying things they aren't going to do, than soon after being elected going against their words and doing what they said they wouldn't do. (Mike Huckabee on school consolidation in Arkansas.)

I have been to 3rd world countries, lets use Malaysia for an example Kuala Lumpur specifically, downtown is a first class city, 5 star hotels, sky scrapers, clubs, fancy stores. then you go to explore and you are dropped off into a place where people are fighting to live, it smells horribly, people decaying because they are homeless, people asking you if you want "boom boom" because of sex trafficking and the girls are 15 years old (according to the port brief.) Just a complete 180 from the downtown.

We are a young country, we are very fortunate to have what we have. We have fought for it, America has inspired much of the current technology around, Apple, Microsoft, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, just to name a few are based in the United States.

I joined the Navy when I was 17 years old, I do not need to say that I am proud to be an american. It is a known fact, I also dropped out of high-school and was allowed to learn a trade and get my GED FREE OF CHARGE, because of this government. However, I wish we would stop growing so corrupt, and stop trying to fix other people when we cannot even fix ourselves, we have become the playground bully, and we are highly hypocritical. That NEEDS to change.
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:58 AM
Ysionris The Byzantine Empire Ysionris is offline
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Re: Proud to be American?

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Originally Posted by Flames of Valor View Post
Being proud to be a citizen of a nation and to be a patriot is to find real use and merit in the principles of said nation, and to then live them.
A core disagreement I have here is that I do not define a nation by its principles. Principles are ever-changing things, and I think it is naive to assume that nations are embodiments of the principles they are founded on. I agree that people should live by principles and not by real estate, but principles are not what nations represent, nor do they represent ideology or moral behavior. Nations are arbitrary political divisions, and until we wrap our head around that fact, we will always be fighting for real estate, not actual moral principles, no matter how much we want to.
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