The Real Definition of Nationalism
In leu of the recent and ongoing tragedies in Boston and Newtown, we have seen an increased sense of Nationalism and American Pride. While it is always a good thing to have a sense of pride in ones country, I ask, why do we need the murder of children and innocent adults to bring us together and eliminate our differences as a nation? Why do we as Americans only react and change our ways if some extreme incident takes place? Despite the tragedies that have and continue to take place maybe a little Nationalism is what we need. I am not saying that this is the means by which we should realize our nationalism but we can't ignore the facts. I love my country, but too many times we confuse what it means to have a sense of American pride. It often gets confused with having the biggest, best and most powerful things. This belief has lead to a widespread problem of ignorance, obliviousness, arrogance and to put it simply, stupidity. This country was built on the foundation of coming together as a collection of colonies to overcome smaller differences for the greater good of this nation. I ask we revisit these morals on a daily basis and not just when tragedy strikes.
While some ignorant people may claim this societal and secular view to be "socialist" and "communist", I for one see no issue with the ideal of looking out for one another and putting aside insignificant differences for the greater good of this nation. Not only on a daily basis but possibly in politics as well. If people could just come off their high horse about their ideals and party specific beliefs and actually sit down to have a conversation about what is truly best for this country and its citizens, maybe something would get done. If you haven't been living under a rock the past few months you've witnessed tragedy after tragedy with a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. An overwhelming majority of the American people have cried for change with our ridiculously lax and minimal gun laws. I am not here to discuss gun laws specifically but point out that when over 90% of NRA members are in support of background checks and we still cannot pass any sort of new gun restrictions we have a problem. What more does it take than 22 dead children at Newtown Elementary, 3 dead marathon runners, amongst those 3 an 8 year old child and now the shootings at MIT killing a campus police officer? Isn't it enough already to say we need change? What more possibly needs to happen? I personally hope we never find out because the way things are going I'm terrified of what could happen next.
Back to my point on Nationalism. We as Americans rejoice on the fact that we claim to be the "Best Damn Country" in the world. I personally love the fact that I am an American, but recently it has been very hard to sleep at night knowing that catastrophes continue to happen and we are doing absolutely nothing to stop it. I am not blaming anyone for the Boston Marathon Bombings as far as negligence goes because it was a very tough situation to handle and the Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department and EMT's deserve our utmost respect and tribute for their service not only in this horrific event but what they do for the city of Boston on a daily basis. This respect goes out to all public service men and women serving us at home protecting us from the dangers of the world. I truly believe that if we as a nation, had more of a sense of nationalism on a daily basis, and had the interest of the collective United States of America at heart, we would only benefit from the power in numbers. We all witnessed in Egypt with the Arab Spring the power it can have when a country comes together and demands change. I am not proposed we riot in the streets and create anarchy, but we as American citizens have the given right in our first amendment to the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly. It's about damn time we actually use our constitutional rights to get something done for the betterment of this country and not to defend our ridiculous obsession with guns and our second amendment.
I submit to every person reading this to educate yourself, learn how you can take action and not just say you're proud to be an American but act on it. Go out and prove you're proud to be an American. Rally, cry and fight for your right for change. People don't realize how much power we truly have when we come together as a group of hundreds of millions fighting for one cause. We must be careful and not get carried away and become overzealous or ignorant with our American Pride claims. We can not blame arab's for every act of terror just because 9/11 happened to be the cause of an extremist group of Afghan people hate this country. One group of extremists cannot represent an entire people just as the KKK does not represent the American People as a whole.
At the end of the day my words may mean nothing, but at least I'm willing to fight for what I believe in. We need to get off our asses and get back to showing how powerful the American people are and how strong American Nationalism really is.
I end with a quote from President Teddy Roosevelt: “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” Cherish this nation as I do and fight for it, because if we don't, well the path we're on now, I fear for where we may end up.
Stay Strong Boston and God Bless America.