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Patriotism: A Spirit of Dissent

Joined: 7/5/2013
Posts: 1
Patriotism, the love for or devotion to one’s country, plays a profound role in the workings of a nation. This affection towards one land may unite people of differing backgrounds to a common interest, cultivating a solid kinship. On the other hand, patriotism is also a contentious, divisive concept that promotes an unwarranted belligerence in global affairs, catalyzing unnecessary wars and hostility. So, what does it mean to love your country? Does this love signify that you have to absolutely support your country’s decisions? Rather, to me, to love one’s country is to stand by it when it right and rectify it when it is wrong.
The United States of America was born from a potent spirit of dissent within the populace. This very spirit hallmarks the ability of this nation to progress, to correct it when it is wrong. It is the very spirit that fills me with pride for my country. For instance, Edward Snowden, a former technical contractor of the National Security Agency who disagreed with the mass surveillance of the United States, leaked details of classified programs to the press. From disclosing such sensitive information, Snowden has potentially damaged the economic interests of the United States as well as its international reputation. However, Snowden’s action to reveal what he believes as incorrect has motioned the nation to seek change, sparking debates on the balance between national security and individual privacy and possibly leading to an amendment that would limit funds to the NSA to collect data on telephone calls.
In the wake of the trial involving the shooting of Trayvon Martin, protests and demonstrations have sprung up across the country. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator, fatally shot Trayvon Martin and as the result of the trial, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges due to a lack of evidence and witnesses. As a response to the verdict, people took initiative and vocalized their opposition to the decision in areas such as New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. The demonstrators practiced a largely peaceful call for justice and the NAACP posted a petition to formally initiate a civil rights case against Zimmerman. By dissenting against the verdict of a court, the country’s disgruntled population is paving a way to alter the flawed practices, such as racial profiling, that are working in the nation. Each individual who is objecting to the trial is embodying the ability to disagree, the ability to enact a change to rectify a perceived wrong of the nation.
The United States of America hosts citizens who are resolved to manifest the injustices of their very own nation, propelling changes through the assessment of contending views. By incorporating the spirit of dissent, the country can adapt to and prosper in a brighter future. The fact that we can gather together to protest against varying aspects of our country is very reassuring; it truly evinces that we can muster the courage to overcome any form of national adversity.
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