Forum, Sept. 9: How to Reclaim Patriotism

Saturday, September 08, 2018
Reclaiming Patriotism

As a progressive citizen, I believe it is time to reclaim our share of patriotism and love of country from the right-leaning members of society.

Patriotism is not blind nationalism — “my country right or wrong.” It is the duty of all citizens to support what they find positive in America and to challenge what they find negative.

Removing barriers of race, class and gender is a priority. Many people in America do not have equal opportunity. Our history of racial, gender and class inequality still gives many people less opportunity than a fortunate minority. A society where only a minority see the future as positive is unsustainable.

Government is neither the problem nor the solution. By getting involved constructively, we as a society have the power to remake our country.

Powerful monied and special interests have more influence over our elections and governing than is healthy. Overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision would be an essential first step.

Health care should be a right of every citizen, not a for-profit business. One strategy could be to gradually lower the age of Medicare eligibility.

We are a nation of immigrants. We need a constructive path to including people, not restricting or deporting them. Our last meaningful immigration reform was more than 50 years ago.

Climate change represents a real threat to our future. Making substantial investments in sustainable energy would be one strategy and a potential economic windfall.

I would conclude by offering that loving America should be like the love of a parent for his or her child. We should embrace their positives and correct problem behaviors. Like a child without correction, a country without challenge is at risk.

Philip Langsdorf