by Jackie Finley

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.

The above extract from a longer quote isn’t that of a disgruntled Democrat, but generally accepted to be that of former Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt.

His wise words imply that previous generations have also struggled with the definition of patriotism and what it entails.

As we head into divisive impeachment proceedings and campaign rhetoric, it’s crucial both lawmakers and voters understand what patriotism is. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as devotion to one’s own country, not blind devotion to one charismatic, glib or dogmatic individual.

For three years the United States has had a president who excels at self-aggrandizement and glorification. Trump’s a master at convincing many Americans that his personal needs and goals reflect those of the nation, and that those individuals who don’t cheer him on are unpatriotic. His gains are paramount; the country’s unity and future welfare are secondary.

Trump supporters, whether in political office or part of the general public, need to understand what patriotism means. It is not individual celebrity, but a path to create and maintain a strong unified nation of which all citizens should be proud.

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