"Patriotism in America: Common, yet Nonexistent"

Essay by kimk1402High School, 11th gradeA-, January 2003

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Patriotism in America:

Common, yet Nonexistent

In American society today, the term "patriotism" is used loosely, and in fact has become so common that the true meaning of the word has been almost forgotten. America, which is the only country I can speak for on this subject, has converged patriotism and nationalism, and rarely do you find anyone who can make a distinction between the two. As an American, I found that I have lived my whole life as someone who has never stopped to separate patriotism and nationalism, and even now, when I have begun to form different ideas about the two, have trouble seeing where one ends and the other begins. My definition of patriotism that Americans experience is pride in your country, and love of your possession of it, something which leads to feelings of hate and superiority.

A lot of my ideas on patriotism come from the fact that I live in a country which, generally speaking believe itself to be the greatest nation in the world.

Feeding off this idea, many American's live their lives never appreciating other cultures because, after all, why would you want to experience something other than the "best?" Due to this mentality, those who realize the fault in this "superior" thinking stray from patriotism in any form and declare it evil, something which I am not sure I dispute. To decipher for myself the difference between the patriotism I have lived and the patriotism I now acknowledge, I refer to the latter as "true patriotism." After much analysis, I have found times in my life that I have experienced true patriotism, where it is simply a pure love for one's country. The most obvious example I can think is somewhat of a recurring event. When I drive...