Lumpy wrote:Having been a soldier may not indicate quality as a leader, but it makes that politician immune from "You heartless bastard, sending them to their deaths! You don't know what it's like on the ground!" argument made against Bush and the company he keeps around him. It also makes them immune to those "not patriotic" e-mails that fly around periodically.
It is a dangerous and tragic thing that, in the US today, patriotism is equated with getting involved in foreign wars... What is being a patriot now, anyway? I thought it meant being a good American citizen-- not forcing everyone else in the whole fucking world to be a good American citizen. People mistake oppression for patriotism, and patriotism for ideals. If people are going to interfere in other countries' business, they shouldn't be allowed to call that patriotism. I mean, since when does loyalty to one's country and its Constitution extend to fighting other peoples' battles?
Being a soldier doesn't automatically make you patriotic. In fact, if you were to be a real patriot, you'd stay at home with your shotgun and make sure that no one and nothing could harm your patria, ex., the US. Wouldn't you? Because if you're off fighting a war in the Middle East, you're not here in case Canada invades or something. [Spoiler'd for hateful rant.]
Me: Oh, really? So attacking an entire country is going to save us from a specialized group of terrorists and non-existent non-launched WMDs? And, oh, what about those army bases in half the countries in Asia? Right, right, spreading democracy. Whatever. You're not a patriot."
Also, overheard in poli-sci, during our study of the Constitution. I swear to Allah. This made me want to shoot myself in the face.
Chick: So, like, if we are Constitutionally allowed to defend our country, and we're defending ourselves against terrorists in Iraq, why don't we just put bases in every country to make sure that we don't get attacked? Isn't it our right to protect our country with a pre-emptive attack?
[Bee-tee-dub, I checked her face for facetiousness. There was none. Not a trace.]
Oh. My. FUCKING. FUCK. If we didn't have enemies before this [which we do], we certainly will after she gets elected to office. Please, someone, get an un-Constitutionally difficult-to-obtain and gun license and shoot me in the face.
So, really, what do you all think patriotism means? If you give me a dictionary definition, fine, but expand on that with personal thoughts and interpretations. As a libertarian, I have to say I'd go with the simplest of patriotism: make sure that nothing gets in the way of man's natural rights and defend the Constitution as it was originally intended.