Patriotism Essay: Recommended Reading
Here is the review of the best credible sources on the topic of patriotism, which you can cite in your patriotism essay.
1. David Brooks, “The Uses of Patriotism”
The 2016 article has been the response to the protest started by Kaepernick when athletes around the country were kneeling during the pregame anthem to stand up against social and rational injustice in America. Brooks points to a sharp drop in American patriotism and argues that problems in modern America may actually stem from the alienation of society.
“We have a crisis of solidarity. That makes it hard to solve every other problem we have,” the author states. Brook encourages everyone to sing an anthem, which is a good way to unite the community around the “aspirations passed down generation after generation”
2. Houston Chronicle Editorial: Dissent is Patriotic
The editorial questions if the love of the country can coexist with criticism of it. The authors argue that criticism and, thus, seeking transformation of America is an integral part of American patriotism. Silence in response to in-justice is, on the contrary, utterly un-American.
Having such a view of what it means to love America, authors condemn the expressions of Trump who told that those who are not happy in the U.S. and complain about it all the time, can simply leave. In line with this idea, Trump tweeted that Democratic congresswomen of color (all U.S. citizens) should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” and also told Colin Kaepernick “find another country” after his protest.
3. The Problem with Patriotism Today
In the article adapted from his book, Robert D. Caplan emphasizes that Americans should be taught to be proud of themselves and their country. However, this pride should not come from populist patriotic slogans or rewriting the history – for the true American history is “morally unresolvable”. It can come from an appreciation of the economic and geopolitical role America has placed.
What I also like about this article is the justification for the importance of patriotism:
If we feel ourselves unworthy, it will ultimately be impossible for us to project power as we should.
4. Arguments against patriotism
Although the source is definitely one-sided and may lack rhetorical appeal, it can definitely help you look at patriotism from various angles and note interesting facts to research further. For example, the government spending on nurturing patriotism or the incarceration of 127,000 US-born citizens of Japanese ancestry during World War II (to find out more, listen to this TedTalk speech delivered by the survival of the event, American patriot, George Takei).
5. Sowing Patriotism, But Reaping Nationalism?
Another great source to use for a patriotism essay is a research of the consequences of the exposure to the American flag carried out by Markus Kemmelmeier and David G. Winter. Besides may great facts about how the American flag functions in a society and what it represents, the study presents interesting yet somehow unexpected results for American patriots: frequent exposure to the flag promotes nationalism, not patriotism. Let me include a longer quotation here which perfectly explains the idea:
Arguably, the American public may not care much for academic hair-splitting and the scientific distinction between patriotism and nationalism. Indeed, Americans who consider their country to be the best in the world and support America’s dominant position in the world are likely to consider themselves patriots, not nationalists. Because nationalism typically connotes extremism and aggression, Americans (as well as members of other nations) are likely to reserve this label to describe the national attachment of others. Even when there are no substantive differences in beliefs about their own identity, “their nationalism” is likely to become “our patriotism”
This is a great idea to discuss in a Patriotism vs Nationalism essay.