Saturday, November 8, 2008

Apparently protest is patriotic aka Oh Canada

With the election of Barack Obama I have noticed an interesting trend on Facebook. Many conservatives are leaving messages such as “that’s it I’m moving to Mexico,” “kiss the constitution good bye” and so forth. Now I don’t have any problem with people having their own opinions about the President-elect.

We do live in a democratic country. The constitution does guarantee us certain rights such as the freedom of speech.

The thing that gets me is what happened to the “protest of the war is unpatriotic” crowd? What happened to the “if you don't love America than get out of here” crowd?

If my inference is correct, maybe they no longer love America because all that was "great" about America -- Republican presidents who shot from the hip -- will soon be gone.

Let me define what I think patriotism is or at least should be. To me, patriotism is not a blind love, I think our country has many great things about it. The prescient Framers provided us a constitutional government which has lasted for close to a quarter of a millennium. There are great freedoms enjoyed in this country which most citizens of other countries would dream of (just ask the Chinese or Russians about their freedom of press rights). However, a nation is only as good as its citizens. And I think that we as humans have a long way to go.

To me, a true love of the country is to say yes we can break down barriers of prejudice. Yes we can work with people who may think differently from us. And most importantly, we need to address these issues head on so we can overcome them. That to me is patriotism. It’s not saying America is great and we can’t do anything to spoil that (which seems to me to be what a lot of people say when they approach the war or our international relationships). But just like all the private lives of all the citizens of this country, there are times when we must admit our wrongs and make amends for our mistakes in order to progress.

Thus being said, I find it amusing how fast those against Barack -- who more than likely are in the love it or leave it crowd -- have turned to leaving it. I am not arguing that they don’t have a right to dissent, it just seems like many recently were arguing that I didn’t have a right to dissent.

Take that for what it’s worth.