Brief story of my struggle with "Patriotism"

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Blackjack, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    My view of my own "Patriotism" has been quite the rollercoaster ride over my lifetime, figured to share a few of my thoughts with others that may be having the same internal debate.

    I grew up in a patriotic household, male members of my lineage have served in every military action in US history back to the civi war (cant verify Span-Am war though). I was the typical red, white, and blue teenager from middle america. I was heavily involved in high school sports, and I remember standing for the national anthem before games, and the welling up of pride that I would feel during it. I loved my country and firmly believed that we were the good guys, and that the US was the best country in the world, period.

    I enlisted in the army at age 18, and I sincerely wanted to be "the righteous hammer of god" for our country, laying waste to all the bad guys from other lands. But during my time some disturbing things happened. I began to see a lot of areas where we we're NOT the good guys. I learned of political corruption, I learned of our own government acting against the best interest of it's citizens right up to the point of performing deadly chemical tests on them without their knowlege. I learned that as a soldier, I was not a valued weapon, that I was merely a disposable implement given no more consideration than the average paper clip on a generals desk. I learned how corporations had grown out of control and were now running nearly everything with only profit as a motivating factor.

    These realizations led me to some conclusions that disturbed me. I was not a patriot, and I hated our leadership, we were not the good guys I had always been led to believe. Upon leaving the service, I remember going back to my high school to a ball game, and when the anthem was played, I only stood to avoid confrontation, I no longer felt pride, only hatred for what my once beloved country had become. I was ashamed of my country, and ashamed to a degree of myself for having served it.

    I've struggled with my own "non-patriotism" for more than a decade since then.

    And here is where I have to thank the "Survival Monkies". After reading much info and opinion on this site over the course of a half-year, I've finally been able to see things a little more clearly now.

    You see, I had always equated patriotism with following the leadership of this country, and therin lay the problem. The definition of "Patriot" had somehow been changed over time to mean "support the leaders" instead of "support the constitution and the ideals this country was founded upon". I had thought that because I felt the leadership was corrupt and horrible that I wasn't a patriot, where now I realize that neither the meaning of the concept "patriot" nor my view of it has really changed. But it's the leaders themselves who have lost the meaning.

    Now when I hear that same national anthem, it's not hatred I feel. It's mostly sadness for what it has become, but at the same time it's hopeful. Our founding principles were sound and good. They are principles that could allow us to become much more than we are, much more than we have been. Does this country have it's problems? Hell yes. Has it done things that were wrong and shameful, yes again. But we remain the planets last and best hope for freedom for all men and for elevation of the human race.. But we have a long, long way to go.

    I'm proud once again to have grown up here. I no longer see the times I live in as the end product of a nation building experiment gone wrong, I see myself living at the early stages of a nation building experiment with promise.

    And regardless the common definition of the word today, I can once again call myself a Patriot.
  2. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    [flag]Very nicely expresed and true for alot of us; I think. I experienced much the same thing. From growing up with john wayne as "col kirby greenberet".to clint eastwood and richard burton as WWII c/I spec operators in "where eagles dare" ; to watching the apollo moon landing in my batman pajamas on a huge console tv with rabit ears and a big clunky tuner knob you had to spray with contact cleaner every 3weeks.
    We were the goodguys,The policeman was always your friend. Thecommunists were bad. my two uncles who served in viet nam( one seabee one army infantry were like gods retuning from battle to a 10 year old.and the seabee (uncle "bill" had a real honest to god kabar in a footlocker upstairs)...better than a stack of old playboys to a 10yearold..
    then we heard about kent state, and watergate. rumors the gulf of tonkin incident was not completely true as reported...its even esier to pick up little bits of conspiracy theory every where now and concoct a twisted "secret history" of our beloved country...)

    I've seen the dark side of the war on drugs... people ruined, tripped up (legally) and netted to fulfil some decreed increase in case numbers from higher hq. It left my view colored too.. (every and any dealer was written up as a "major drug supplier". I ran "body wires" for the physical protection of the source and collection of evidence...)

    Disillusioned with the human beings inpower, I comeback to the core documents the constitution and bill of rights. I believe no matter how corrupt the people, if we could only hold their feet to the fire, and agree on the law of the land, reverything would be fair and just and no man would fear unjust persecution, Because of the briliiance and foresight of the founders,even if Muslims immigrated legally, became a majority and voted themselves into the power structure,well that would still be "America" as long as they did not do away with the constitution and institute sharia law. Things would still be just.

    I am keeping one eye on the administration and believe they are probably violating the constitution,

    but I am proud of our system and the patriots I meet along theway, I still get choked up standing retreat as the flag comes down or a flight of aircraft roar by overhead.

    Seymour johsonAFB ( Golds boro NC) was one of the last active f4 wings. The f4 leaves a drooping dark smokey trail when it is on approach and they have a unique howl. I used to sit in the base housing play ground park with my (then 2 year old) daughter after work watching 4 ship formations come back, aircraft peeling off one by one. Welling with pride ,even getting alittle misty eyed for no aparent reason..

    I have little respect for the government anymore, it's the people ( dare I claim "my tribe" without sounding too pompous) the military folks (and other good americans) who'd give you the shirt off their backs and only ask for a fair shake in return... these are the folks who make this country worth fighting for..[flag]
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Above, there are two lights in the gloom. If we get enough on that stream of thought, we might turn this gov't around.[flag]
  4. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Gentlemen, that was a most eleoquent expression of a deeply heart-felt sentiment and I personally thank you. I too, have redifined patriotism into it's most based belief and seperated the inappropriate symantics our government has commandeered. I believe one step farther, that our government is in-fact, not our elected government; one that is sworn to uphold the constitution of our great nation, but rather a corporate take-over of our nation and I see but one recourse towards unfavorable management; the Strike. I honestly believe that most of our politicians believe they will be working for us, the citizen until they actually get into office and find out who their masters really are. Two weeks ago, in response to an edict that I write a list of five items to improve my professionalism within the company that I work for in 2007, I responded in a disertation that concluded that most of the problems we were experiencing was directly because of poor senior management and that if they could not be trained to utilize better management practices, I would devote most of my time towards having them replaced. A senior VP called and threaten to fire me because of that paper and I told him to go for it but my last official act would be to shot-gun email that disertation company-wide; he aquiessed and I got a raise instead of a pink-slip. He has also been demoted from senior VP to just plain engineer. It is not often that an employee can basically fire his boss, you would think....or maybe it is more common than they would like us to know? It is past time to let our elected leaders in on the secret: they may think they work for the system, but they don't! They work for us.
  5. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    [applaud]I once sat in on an "Confidential employee council (Nothing said here will leave the room!)
    " A whats wrong with thecompany discussion "..
    which was quicly concluded after most of the suggestions were to remove wasteful silliness imposed by various levels of management...

    nextday "all that is off thetable " Wecan't do anything to affect that.
    "Now then , how do we make ourselves more efficient what do the employees need that is under our rcontrol ??":lol:

    In the end we got a picnic table outside , a second microwave in the break area...
    scroo'm idiots...[devilfu][devilfu]

    Don't wanto hear theanswer don'task the question.

    edited:to add "
    Back to your point Sea: "Strike" sounds like ayn rands' novel "atlas shrugged" which I never finished...
    in it the real producers in the economy decide its all crap and they quietly retire andstep back outta thesystem, gnp drops, the govt panicks and legislates mandatory production levels,work hours and mandatory consumption and spending to maintain the statusquo. The movers and shakers form an isolated "hidden" community.
  6. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    [applaud] For both Blackjack and Tango3. Very,very, well put sentiments.

    I have eluded to, and revealed part of my past. I was very involved in the "Patriot" movement. But I became so disillusioned after the persecutions of the 90's. So many people decided it wasn't worth it. Turned their backs on it, on us.

    People who had served this nation, who loved this nation, who were willing to die for this nation, were demonized and made out to be gun toting, government hating, rednecks. Anti-government radicals. And people believed that. And still do.

    So I washed my hands of it. I lost a lot. My home, my family, friends, and very nearly, my freedom. All for standing up and being counted. For trying to spread the word. For being a "Patriot". I swore to never again speak out to a deaf and cowardly nation.

    But hearing people like you two, realizing that you have been lied to. Realizing that blind obedience doesn't make you a Patriot. That gives me hope. Re-news a spark that once was a consuming fire, but had faded to a dying ember.

    As long as there are people out there who are willing to listen, willing to stand for what is right and just. Then there is a flicker of a hope of saving this great nation of ours.

    Thank you guys for giving me back some hope.
  7. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Thanks MM, Sorry to hear doing what is right cost you so much. Unfortunately the history books will not document the day to day sacrifices folks like you made to ensure the countrystays free. I can only hope I have the grit you must've shown being so vocal; With so little support.

    "modern patriot movement" by "Minuteman" Sounds like a good book project for you when you get tired punching holes`in texas and chasing off illegals..[applaud][flag][​IMG]
  8. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    You're still spreadin the word Minuteman, right here on the monkey. A lot of people get to read your posts, and they do make a difference. For every person that gets a better understanding of our situation, that's one step closer to liberty we get.

    I salute all the Monkeys. This site is "the light in the gloom".
  9. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    Recently was at a swearing in for a gal joining the Army and it has not changed in 40 years. She promised, just as I did, to uphold the constitution of the US, not the stupid politicians or the new breed of officers who for the most part think more of their careers and not making waves, than their oath to the country and their duty to their men and women. The country and the constitution are all that we need and deserve and that has not changed. We damn well need to something about the idiots that are running into the ground for their own ideologies and profit.
  10. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    A soldier doesn't need to worry about the politics of war. His job will always be the same -to face an enemy on a battlefield. It matters more that the civilians learn of their constitution, and defend against tyranny -foreign and domestic. Of course, a soldier must first be a civilian...

    I am now a soldier again, and I can honestly say that I have never shared any respect for politics. What remains important is that we stand ready to be the mighty pistol that can defeat an army set against us, as Winston Churchill once warned. Liberty and freedom cannot be obtained through assaulting other nations while our own "leadership" has become enshrouded with corporations and banking cartels. There is a huge difference between a Democracy and a republic. The government should obey the People, and should serve -not ordain what is right according to a false paradigm built with corporate sponsored terror.

    My hat's off to any who can retain patriotism in a world seemingly gone mad. We can all do our part to make this country great...we can start by becoming informed and improving ourselves.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Brokor, thanks for pulling on the boots again. Stay safe. These days, even REMFs have to be alert.
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