I am not a patriot

I am not a patriot.

I’m a good citizen. I vote thoughtfully. I willingly pay taxes for the common good.

I’m a good neighbor. I maintain my property and my distance, but try to greet everyone I meet.

I am not a patriot. To me, patriotism is the happy mask of nationalism. We’re number one! We’re the best! We’re the greatest! It takes no effort to append “and they are the worst and must be destroyed!” More money for defense (war).

Don’t get me wrong. I know there are good people who are proud of their country. Just as there are good people who believe in a book and a god I do not believe in. I don’t want those people running my life or my nation.

I just want you to know there are good people who are not proud of their country. In my 63 years, I’ve been proud to be an American twice — the two times Barrack Obama was elected president by an overwhelming majority ready for a better nation.

I could write these same sentiments any year. My anti-patriotism has little to do with the angry, fearful, shrinking minority that has seized the nation for the rich, the male, and the white.

There is no nation I’d rather live in. Nationalism is a problem wherever you find it. America is good, especially in its potential and its formal goals, which we have yet to achieve. I’m happy to be here, but I will not salute the flag, I will not stand for the anthem, I will not support corrupt politicians or poisonous ideologies. That’s my patriotism. Enjoy your 4th, your fireworks, your war machinery. Tomorrow, resist the forces that will undo all our benefits and freedoms.

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