Group – Silver Tongues (Pedro Candela Terry, Livia Gasparini, Brenden Aguasvivas, Caroline Cacabelos, Bianca Campoamor Finat)
What exactly is patriotism? Patriotism is by definition love and support for one’s country. However, this being a vague definition as so many are, leaves much interpretation as to what fits into a patriotic act. While some see it as supporting one’s government no matter the route they take, others see it as providing criticism in the hopes that their country will improve. It’s not for us to decide what is real patriotism as a vague definition will always lead to different interpretations, however we can see pros and cons within patriotism without a perfect definition.
To begin on a positive note it has helped many people overcome adversity and work hard with a source of motivation. Working for something bigger than yourself can be incredibly gratifying and we see for example many athletes who will go the extra mile to prove that their country is the best. A good example of this is Jesse Owens who did this and more. Although Jesse Owens was working not only for his country but also to disprove the Nazi doctrine of Aryan superiority, which was what made the event so remarkable. Not only did Jesse Owens win several gold medals, but he beat several world records throughout. Representing his country he was able to inspire with his incredibly performance, this pride in his country gave him the motivation to go the distance and perhaps perform better than he could have otherwise. Of course at the time in the US African Americans were still treated very badly, which thankfully has been improving over the years.
A different example of patriotism can lead to far more negative image. It was when the US was deciding whether to invade Iraq, and the actual invasion of Iraq that many used patriotism to excuse acts of barbarism committed by the US and to devalue any positions against the governmental ideology. If one was against the invasion they were labeled as anti-American, and supporters of terrorists. An example of patriotic glorification can be found in George F. Will’s description of what the US government was doing through the Iraq war “turned their minds toward using the sole remaining superpower’s power to spread Jeffersonian poetry”. By Jeffersonian poetry he is referring to the killing of millions of civilians and this disgusting war, which later was proved to be based on completely false assumptions. Of course, it sounds far nicer when you refer to this as a form of poetry. A much more in depth analysis can be found written by Brian Goss in his paper ““Jeffersonian Poetry”: an ideological analysis of George F. Will’s editorials (2002-2004)”.
These are just two examples of patriotic acts, but it can vary in how it is expressed to a far larger extent. It can be used to push one beyonds its limit, but a blind optimism towards one’s government can be dangerous and have devastating effects. How you use it is up to you, but healthy criticism and a critical eye for your country can go a long way to improve it.
805 Bruin, (Youtube) “Jesse Owens – 1936 Olympics”, 15 Jan. 2012. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quQopJmQry4
Will G. F., (Washington Post), 27 May 2004. Retrieved from:
Goss B. M., (Routledge), ““Jeffersonian Poetry”: an ideological analysis of George F. Will’s editorials (2002-2004)”, Journalism Studies, Volume 6, Number 4, 2005.