The difference between 'patriotism' and 'citizenship'

Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 10:55 am
(from Diane Dees' essay, link below:)

About a week after the horrors of September 11, I was driving in heavy traffic on the main highway of my city. As I slowed down to accommodate the flow, I noticed that the car in front of me had an American flag waving from its door on the driver's side. The driver then opened his window and tossed some litter onto the highway.

Then it happened again. A driver with a American flag decals all over his SUV tossed a cigarette out the window. I have witnessed this scene several times.

All around me, my neighbors have American flags affixed to their cars, hanging from their mailboxes, and standing in front of their houses. These same neighbors burn leaves during questionable weather conditions, drive their vehicles beyond the speed limit, violate the noise ordinance, and allow their unprotected pets to wreak havoc on the community.

What does it mean to "love America" and have little or no regard for its land and its inhabitants?

Plenty of Patriotism, But Little Citizenship
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 11:01 am
First response. Do I get to wander off topic already?

The flags, decals, et.al., don't affect me much one way or the other, but if you are going to fly the flag from your car, please, when it's tattered, frayed, and dirty, take it down or replace it. Please?

Sorry about that PDiddie. I've wanted to say that for a year or more.
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 11:05 am
That action would be good citizenship, rog.
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 11:06 am
Oh, I agree. One's easy -- buy a thing, stick in on, ferget about it. One's harder -- I have trash. I must keep the trash in my car until I come to a place where I can dispose of it. This is too difficult for my small reptilian brain to process.
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 11:13 am
The most popular tatoo of the past two years? The American flag. I am patriotic to the country as an entity but often not by blindly following any of our politicians. That anyone would find disagreement with this bloc of mostly second rate attorneys is patriotic. I've had some of the same experiences on the highway with those vehicles flying flags -- they are nearly always the most aggressive bad drivers I run into. We were doing some shopping last week after going to a move and were waiting with the blinker on for an available parking space when a van coverered with American flags and epithets towards the liberal persuasion pulled around to try and steal the spot. He didn't succeed as I cut him off but this isn't an isolated incident. Seems to go with the territory.
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 11:24 am
I have a large Canadian flag hanging from the rearview mirror of my jeep (not terribly large, but fairly large for the position in which it is displayed). This i carry in honor of eBeth. It also helps me find my jeep in parking lots--green Cherokees are as common as dirt. On several occassions, i've been approached by the flag-waving variety of "patriot" wishing to know if i'm Canadian, speaking in a challenging tone. When i tell them no, they want to know why i've got the flag displayed. My standard response?

"Just to piss you off, Bubba--and it works pretty damned well."

(I know, off topic, i'll be quiet now.)
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 11:29 am
Well, what happened to how we were all supposed to work together now? Wasn't government supposed to get nonpartisan, and just get things done? Weren't we supposed to step in and help one another? Yeah, right.

Over a year later, I see something of a wallow. 9/11 is used as an excuse for all sorts of things, including NYC pushing to get the Democratic National Convention (e. g. I can't recall who this was but, after Boston was announced as the site, a pol from NY said, "But this is our hour of need!").

The people who used 9/11 as a reason to give blood now can't be bothered. The folks who used 9/11 as a reason to try to understand other cultures have given up. The ones who thought the NYC settlement would be fair and decent (and quick cash for the injured and bereaved) are now using it as a tool to prevent law suits. And, while deserving families go without cash, investigators keep finding Twin Towers fraud.

I know it's not all like this, but this is what gets the press.
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 11:33 am
Peoples behaviors will not change just because they have a flag on their car! If they have been rude enough to throw garbage out their window before the flag was attached to their car, then they aren't going to stop now! It is simply a case of not learning good manners while growing up. It's not that they disrespect their country, they have no respect for anything or anyone by their ignorant actions.

An incident I remember from my childhood ... My mother and I out walking one day, stop at the traffic lights beside a car that is also stopped. The driver, a young man, rolls down the window and hocks a big loogey and spits out into the street. The specimen lands pretty close to my mothers shoe and she, no shrinking violet, takes a tissue out of her pocket, swabs up the mess and throws it back in his still-open-window with a comment, "I believe this belongs to you!" Before he could make a retort she stalked off. I have never forgotten that incident and it was a lesson well learned on my part, even if the driver was unimpressed.
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 11:37 am
i have a dream catcher hanging on my rear view mirror intended to protect me from the bad dreams of other drivers, it don't help much but it makes be feel safer.
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 11:43 am
The good dreams trickle down through the feathers at the bottom. The bad ones stay in the circle. Maybe it needs changing.
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Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 08:07 pm
Most of us take the easy and most pleasurable way, without thinking -- like putting perfume on B.O. Alas!
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 01:23 am
Well since I'm reading 'The Patriot' daily and have been an officer in the 'Citizen Guard St. Sebastian of 1412' in my native town - I'm presdistined to answer here, I think.

However, the on is just our (unfortunately only) local newspaper (www.derpatriot.de), the other a traditional association (www.sankt-sebastianus.de).

'Citizen' (and especially 'citizenship') is always something here (Germany), which is mentioned especially by federal/state/local authorities, when they want something from us.
'Patriozism' helds a little bit of bad reputation here.

I'm quoting from my favourite website

A subjective comparison of Germany and the United States

Or maybe it should be more benignly called "patriotism"; in any event, it is ubiquitous in the US: flags, the anthem, "pledge of allegiance" every morning in every grade school, politicians regularly praising "the greatest nation on earth" etc. This is nauseating to the average German, but it is also rather difficult to understand given the widespread hatred of the government and its institutions in the US. Apparently, the nation is seen to be a completely separate entity from the nation's institutions. Atrocities committed by the army in the various wars, crimes committed all over the world by the CIA, and the huge social problems of the country are openly discussed and part of the public consciousness, but all of this does not seem to have much of an impact on the American's love of their nation. When asked directly, they usually explain that they love the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and in the constitution, most of all the commitment to freedom. The economic system of free entrepreneurship is also often an object of love.
The situation in Germany, of course, is radically different. To love Germany is to love its history, its culture, its political and economical system, the government's institutions, the whole enchilada. Obviously, Germany's history cannot be loved, and so it is a pretty safe bet that someone wearing a shirt with a German flag on it is either a soldier or a foreigner or a neonazi. At best, it is considered to be in bad taste to claim that one is proud to be a German.

The jobless youth in big German cities and in the eastern part of the country however often present an aggressive nationalistic attitude, to the extent of harassing, beating and even killing foreigners with the wrong skin color. This kind of violence is unheard of in the US.

There is also a kind of snobbishness in Germany's educated classes about the myopia of Americans: "they don't care what's going on in the world, they don't travel abroad, they still don't understand why they are hated around the world, they think they are always right etc." While all of this may be partially true, it conveniently ignores the very noble and enlightened treatment Japan and West Germany received after the Second World War, and the fact that the US was the driving force behind creation of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "
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Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 08:46 am
Psst, welcome, Moose Malloy! :-D
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Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2008 02:07 pm
" The health of a democratic society
may be measured
by the QUALITY of functions performed
by private CITIZENS"
-----------------------Alexis de Tocqueville

" The Athenian Democracy suffered much
that narrowness of PATRIOTISM
which is the ruin of all nations"-- H G Wells
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