Here it comes.....yet another tiring allusion to the realm of the lexicographer's compendiums. But, because it is, in this day and age, so very important to find and work from a definite basis in truth, and therefore, accuracy, I suspect that you will easily be able to understand the reason for the reference and follow where it leads. So, with your kind indulgence, we proceede.
Patriotism, noun. Love of one's country; the passion which influences one to serve one's country, either in protecting its rights, or maintaining its institutions and laws in purity and vigor; the characteristics of a patriot. I would add "the determined defense of its soverignty."
"That patriotism which animates and prompts to deeds of self-sacrafice, of valor, of devotion, and of death itself - that is the public virtue, that is the sublimest of public virtues."
- Henry Clay.
I submit that as well presented as the definition is, and with the forementioned lexicographer's highest talents applied to sifting out accuracy and clarity for the issue, the truest meaning of the word is stunningly understated in that brief passage. Patriotism in these times includes a much more prodigious responsibility. Patriotism should be defined as the defense of our country against ideologies that are opposed to maintaining the accomplishments of the socio-economic system that is the lifeblood of our modern civilization as provided by our founders. Lack of that specific quality of patriotism in Congress has lead directly to a precipitation of socialism and government expansionism that far outstrips the original injustices that became the basis for the American Revolution by country miles.
Already, I can just hear all of the special interests clamoring for me to be politically corectly hung from a tall tree for even hinting that there are ideas out there espoused by anyone that are not completely compatible with harmonius life in these States, and, they will endeavor to display great offense and chagrin at the very concept of such heresy. But the truth is, they KNOW they're wrong, logic dictates that on a regular basis. But they make their living and fortunes from the deceit they purvey. Socialism, and its ugly sisters, facisim and communism, only ever have benefitted the few, and temporarily at that. Political correctness as the special interests have tailored it for themselves is the only effective battering ram they have had for shoving all of their whacked, hairbrained ideas up our colons. And, it's been very successfull, as well as dependable.
Whole generations of fellow travelers too lazy or disinterested to discern right from wrong with the application of logic have been indoctrinated with that "anyone's ideas are acceptable" crap. And you are expected to accept that on no other authority than that you may offend them if you don't agree. Simply put, they're not all acceptable. For example, just as driving around with a railroad spike stuck in your tire is very easily followed by logic to a disasterous end, no matter why it got there, so is locking up energy production from any historical source to create a constriction on society that is easily controlled by bureaucrats likely to lead, just as predictably, by the same simple method of deduction, to the same result. No matter what justification the politician dreams up. Socialist ideas are not compatible with free society. Control diametrically opposes freedom.
Patriots realize that it's never really about the "good" of the country for the special interests, it's just about the control of the country, mainly by an elected plutocracy that is not affected by what they do, nor has any concience about how they do it. And, of course, the use of tax money funded payoffs to assist the power grabs. Amazingly, fighting for half of a century to socialize medical care is not a clue to them that many people aren't interested in participating in such a disaster. It's just a challenge to the elected plutocrat, like winning a Monopoly round.
Point here is that only patriotism, practiced by anyone that believes in logical, limited government, in any manner on any scale by positive means, will save this country from the balkanization that is being rampantly propagated by special interests, and, the increasing control that government uses that balkanization to justify. What patriots have worked, sacrificed, fought and died for this past two hundred years is under unceasing attack from both without and within and the cumulative effect is less freedom for us, more redistribution of our power and the fruits of our labor for the attacker's use.
Patriotism, unlike special interests, is not exclusive. Anyone that cares for the good of all as opposed to the largess of the specialized, can be a patriot. Doesn't matter if you're black, Hispanic, female, handicapped, old, blonde, green-eyed, short, bald, or gay. You just gotta have the ability to put agendas that only benefit a few aside for the cause that benefits all: Freedom. It will in turn take care of you. Guaranteed. And, should you discover that there is still something you hate about the good of all, no problem, patriotism will not stop you from leaving the country. One thing, though. You cannot be a patriot just by announcing to the press that you are. You have to act like one. Then, press releases don't even matter. They'll seek you.
A word of caution: Patriotism can only exist in an environment of unvarnished truth. Which, serendipitously, eliminates self-centered and self-serving special interests. You have to be willing to think for yourself and always search for truth for guidance, and, that can be an arduous task.
Patriotism should be revered like religion, not like barnyard chores. It is not just love of country, or even service to it. It's taking some responsibility to actively preserve it, because if we fail, the first two don't matter. Patriotism gave us the best country in the history of the world, it is how we got here in the first place, and, it's the only way we're going to stay.
Remember this: People will only do to you what you let them. Will you let your freedom be taxed, or signed, or, even voted by Congress away? You don't have to. Yet.