Deconstructing postmodern progressive patriotism

Since September 2016, disrespect for the nation's flag and anthem has spread from a few football players of the NFL to many parts of the USA.  All claim to be protesting – as a constitutional freedom – a lack of social justice in the United States.  Yet their actions reflect a rejection of the traditional meaning of patriotism and turn patriotism upside-down in keeping with the deconstruction of civic virtues that took root in the 1960s.

It is time to remember the difference between what is legal and what is right.  Too long, Americans have considered only what is legal.  It is not illegal to disrespect the American flag or anthem, but it is not right.  This means there should be no legal punishment for any such disrespect, but there should be sanctions by all Americans against such violations of traditional patriotism.  The specter of  political correctness prevents this.  Yet all Americans have an obligation to make judgments and to take appropriate action to ensure respect for the symbols – and unity – of America.  Such action is right according to custom and tradition.  And all Americans should have the courage to do what is right, not just what is legal.

However, those expressing their feelings through criticism of the symbols of America think their actions are expressions of patriotism.  They have a postmodern (progressive) view of patriotism.  Therefore, they reject traditional patriotism.  Traditional patriotism is demonstrated love, support, loyalty, defense, and sacrifice for one's country.  It is an expression of moral certainty.  It claims there is right and wrong behavior.  It puts the country ahead of factions based on ideology, politics, and personal ambition.  It creates the kinship of national identity.  It is objective and demands respect for the symbols of the nation, such as the flag and national anthem.  It values unity, accountability, and security more than diversity and the pursuit of happiness.

The foundation of any nation is the unity; acceptance of accountability; and local security of, by, and for those who have accepted a social contract.  Kinship and a common identity are built on these fundamentals.  But for any nation to grow, improve, and survive, it must have not only order through laws, but also satisfaction.  This is achieved by the social contract checking and balancing what is legal with what is right according to custom and tradition.  Yet when freedom, diversity, and the pursuit of happiness become more valued than unity, acceptance of accountability, and local security, the outcome is decline, decay, and chaos – and the end of that nation.

Progressive (postmodern) patriotism is defined by the feelings, emotions, and dreams of a person.  Progressives claim that true patriotism is subjective and depends on the life narrative of each individual or faction.  This means that patriotism is defined by the memories, hopes, dreams and feelings of each person or some faction.  It claims that any objective view of patriotism is an illusion used by the powerful to manipulate people and to oppress the disadvantaged.  Since the 1960s, this view of patriotism has grown.  Therefore, opposition to policies a person or faction considers unjust is, in the minds of progressives, the highest form of patriotism.

The outcome of progressive (postmodern) patriotism is an end of national identity.  It is the end of "out of many, one nation with liberty and justice for all."  It means continual conflict among many factions.  It encourages identity politics.  It means continued polarization.

Therefore, for America to survive, there needs to be a return to traditional patriotism.

Sam C. Holliday, Armiger Cromwell Center, LLC.

Photo credit: Pxhere.

Since September 2016, disrespect for the nation's flag and anthem has spread from a few football players of the NFL to many parts of the USA.  All claim to be protesting – as a constitutional freedom – a lack of social justice in the United States.  Yet their actions reflect a rejection of the traditional meaning of patriotism and turn patriotism upside-down in keeping with the deconstruction of civic virtues that took root in the 1960s.

It is time to remember the difference between what is legal and what is right.  Too long, Americans have considered only what is legal.  It is not illegal to disrespect the American flag or anthem, but it is not right.  This means there should be no legal punishment for any such disrespect, but there should be sanctions by all Americans against such violations of traditional patriotism.  The specter of  political correctness prevents this.  Yet all Americans have an obligation to make judgments and to take appropriate action to ensure respect for the symbols – and unity – of America.  Such action is right according to custom and tradition.  And all Americans should have the courage to do what is right, not just what is legal.

However, those expressing their feelings through criticism of the symbols of America think their actions are expressions of patriotism.  They have a postmodern (progressive) view of patriotism.  Therefore, they reject traditional patriotism.  Traditional patriotism is demonstrated love, support, loyalty, defense, and sacrifice for one's country.  It is an expression of moral certainty.  It claims there is right and wrong behavior.  It puts the country ahead of factions based on ideology, politics, and personal ambition.  It creates the kinship of national identity.  It is objective and demands respect for the symbols of the nation, such as the flag and national anthem.  It values unity, accountability, and security more than diversity and the pursuit of happiness.

The foundation of any nation is the unity; acceptance of accountability; and local security of, by, and for those who have accepted a social contract.  Kinship and a common identity are built on these fundamentals.  But for any nation to grow, improve, and survive, it must have not only order through laws, but also satisfaction.  This is achieved by the social contract checking and balancing what is legal with what is right according to custom and tradition.  Yet when freedom, diversity, and the pursuit of happiness become more valued than unity, acceptance of accountability, and local security, the outcome is decline, decay, and chaos – and the end of that nation.

Progressive (postmodern) patriotism is defined by the feelings, emotions, and dreams of a person.  Progressives claim that true patriotism is subjective and depends on the life narrative of each individual or faction.  This means that patriotism is defined by the memories, hopes, dreams and feelings of each person or some faction.  It claims that any objective view of patriotism is an illusion used by the powerful to manipulate people and to oppress the disadvantaged.  Since the 1960s, this view of patriotism has grown.  Therefore, opposition to policies a person or faction considers unjust is, in the minds of progressives, the highest form of patriotism.

The outcome of progressive (postmodern) patriotism is an end of national identity.  It is the end of "out of many, one nation with liberty and justice for all."  It means continual conflict among many factions.  It encourages identity politics.  It means continued polarization.

Therefore, for America to survive, there needs to be a return to traditional patriotism.

Sam C. Holliday, Armiger Cromwell Center, LLC.

Photo credit: Pxhere.