The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Monday, July 10, 2006

Nationalism is not limited to the US

There are many things that make US citizens proud to be Americans. Perhaps the things that make me proud to be an American are different reasons than others have but many in this country share a nationalistic pride. That nationalism has been frowned upon by other countries and even some within the US. When it comes to the US it seems nationalism is almost felt to be wrong or something to fear. This attitude never seems to be directed at any other nation as if the US is the only country that has strong feelings of nationalistic pride.

We need go no further than the World Cup to see that many nations have strong nationalistic pride. The most notable from what I saw in the media was Brazil, France, Germany and Italy; but all contending countries had some level of the frenzy of wanting their country to win and stood behind their players. The Olympics also provide a strong forum for nationalism to abound.

There are then other venues that are more isolated to each country and not usually broadcast with much coverage in the international media. Our Independence Day that we just celebrated was one such occasion. Why should we feel the need watching a 4th of July Parade to hear or think about songs like "We Are the World"? Instead of being criticized or tolerated by elites, nationalistic pride by waving our flag and listening to patiotic tunes about our great country is to be commended.

I was recently told by somebody who lives in another country about the mentality of the schools there. If there is one brilliant or gifted child in a class, instead of attempting to maximize on his/her intelligence the child is encouraged to suppress it. No strong individuals are encouraged and mediocrity is the rule. I think sometimes the US is treated like that gifted student: with resentment.

Today the greatness of the US is threatened as is the greatness of others such as Europe. The push to set our nationalism aside and meld all countries together overlooks the best of us in favor of mediocrity. Instead of resenting the greatness of the US, what makes the US great should be encouraged and replicated abroad. There is no finite pool of greatness to be taken from one source and distributed to others. It is an infinite well to be tapped into by all who are willing.


  • At 2:41 PM, Blogger SkyePuppy said…


  • At 4:10 AM, Blogger FKAB said…

    I don't have a problem with people being patriotic or whatever, but it seems to me that too many Americans equate love for one's country with blind adherence to government policy.

    I hear of Americans shouting down critics of the war, dismissing them as unpatriotic, and this is what really gets to me. Be proud of your nation, but don't pretend that it's perfect.

    Sometimes patriotism means admitting when you've elected a total moron.

    Oops, hope I didn't get too pro-Dem there.

  • At 7:39 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Just look at it this way. What if somebody from France, Italy or any other country was hoping their soccer (football) team would lose. That would not be patriotic.

    I think in many cases in the US some tend to cheer for another "team" or even against our "team".

    I fully agree with you that patriotism has nothing to do with governmental policy. I think some on the left are willing to throw away their patriotism over governmental policy, though. The poster girl for that is Natalie Maines.

  • At 8:22 AM, Blogger FKAB said…

    Natalie Maines, I'm sure you don't need reminding, merely stated that she was ashamed that she and Bush hail from the same state. How is that unpatriotic?

  • At 8:34 AM, Blogger FKAB said…

    Oh. I see my ignorance on the topic is abundantly clear. Were you referring to her words "I don't see why people care about patriotism"?

    Well, Natalie Maines is a complete fool. I lost all respect for the woman when she retracted her comment, and issued a rather kiss-ass statement about presidents deserving utmost blah blah blah.

  • At 9:34 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Thanks for finding that quote. Yes that is the one I was referring to.

    Unfortunately sometimes when we give an example to clarify, we trivialize our point. Perhaps my reference to Maines did that.

    My point was that while we should not demand agreement with government to qualify as a patriot, we should not throw out such noble ideals as patriotism just because we disagree with the government. Government policy and patriotism should be kept separate.

  • At 12:02 PM, Blogger SkyePuppy said…


    Much of what you hear about Americans "shouting down critics of the war, dismissing them as unpatriotic" is nonsense. Often, when the anti-war folks are criticized without reference to patriotism, the anti-war people say, "How dare you call me unpatriotic!" Which wasn't done at all.

    The anti-war press prints the "unpatriotic" hysteria as gospel, and doesn't bother to find out or print what was really said.

    It stinks, and I'm beyond tired of it.

  • At 1:21 PM, Anonymous paw said…


    To offer a different view.... Much of what you hear about Americans "shouting down critics of the war, dismissing them as unpatriotic" is true. While I won't paint the whole con movement as a bunch of shouter-downers, as a whole there is a lot of shouting down going on. A lot. The parameters are very narrow: you hew this line or you're a traitor. (And there really isn't anything like the anti-war press, either.)

  • At 1:23 PM, Anonymous paw said…

    Back to the original post, that idea of elites (supposedly liberal) criticizing pride is astounding. You see that where exactly? How about the elites tolerating it? You can see that somehow?

  • At 1:30 PM, Blogger Malott said…

    I can remember hating the way Bill Clinton conducted himself and I can remember despising the policies of Democrats. But I know of no conservatives that didn't support our troops and any military action that Clinton and his party waged when they were in power. We're just not made that way.

    I think you must fuse the word patriotism with support for the country's military actions any time you have young men and women placing their lives on the line for you.

    There is an election every two years. That's the way to properly express your disagreements with the government in a time of war.

  • At 5:00 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    paw, my use of the word tolerated may not have been the best due to current use in politics. The spectrum from tolerate (disliking it but keeping silent about it) to criticizing it (disliking and not being silent about it) is expressed in different ways.

    One very foolish way is to make statements such as one can express their patriotism by questioning government, etc. No, patriotism has nothing to do with government, its leaders or its decisions. It is the recognition of being glad to be an American. Being proud of either the historical culture of our country or in some cases the new aspects of culture.

    It is similar to being a fan or member of a sports team. I am a Chicago Cubs fan. It has little to do with whether they win or lose. Once it becomes a matter of wins and losses it is no more an issue of being a fan, but being a critic. One can be both, but the roles do not mix. I do not show my loyalty to the Cubs by criticizing them and likewise my criticism of them does not detract from the fact I am a fan. Some people find they focus so much on being a critic of the Cubs that they can no longer be a fan. Likewise there are some who get so wrapped up in criticism of government policy that they can no longer enjoy the feelings of patiotism.

  • At 5:02 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Why do I so often miss the "r" in patriotism? I correct it a lot as I type, but seem to miss it often. :(

  • At 8:16 PM, Blogger FKAB said…

    I think you must fuse the word patriotism with support for the country's military actions any time you have young men and women placing their lives on the line for you.
    I have nothing against the soldiers, just the criminals who sent them to war.

  • At 8:09 AM, Blogger LASunsett said…

    One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make is, they assume that nationalism is the same as fascism. Not all Nationalism is fascism and not all fascism is nazism.

  • At 4:07 PM, Blogger Mojo_Risin said…

    The problem with nationalism or any kind of ancestral pride is that it's pointless. I think the Buddhists, Christians, Jews, and other belief systems have it absolutely right when they discourage pride of all sorts. All it ever does is put a veil over our understanding -- distracting us from the business at hand, and the attainment of a clearer understanding of the world around us. Pride in the whole takes away from an understanding of the parts.

    For example, I have heard many of my right-wing friends talk about how the Iraqis killed in this war were probably up to no good, anyway. Or say that if another country doesn't go along with US desires (like the French) then that country should be bombed next. Where does this come from? I think these are otherwise very nice people who have just had the wool of nationalism pulled over their eyes so that the US is all good, and everyone else is worthless.

    And I know this isn't just limited the US -- it just comes across as more arrougant since we're the most powerful nation on Earth. For example, the Germans I know have an incredible amount of pride in their heritage; but aren't they the same people who spawned that most evil of all sinners, David Hasselhoff?! To me, that just shows that nationalism is bull.

    A country is nothing but a lifeless construct made up of regular people -- no more worthy of pride than any other group of people. People in Sudan or Turkey or Venezuela are exactly like the people in the US in every important respect -- EXACTLY the same. Take one of them at birth and drop them into an American family, and that kid'll end up like any other American. It works the other way around, too...

    So forget nationalism and treat individuals as individuals.

    Was that rambling enough for you?

  • At 7:33 PM, Blogger SkyePuppy said…


    A country is nothing but a lifeless construct made up of regular people -- no more worthy of pride than any other group of people.

    Ah, but that's where you're wrong. America is an idea and an ideal in a way that other countries aren't.

    Bring some Algerians into France and make them citizens, but they'll never be accepted as French. "French" is a bloodline.

    Bring some Algerians into America and make them citizens, and they'll be welcomed as being every bit as American as you or me.

    That's the difference, and it's a big one. If you can't see it, I pity you.

  • At 8:03 PM, Blogger Mojo_Risin said…

    It's entirely possible, puppy, that you're living in a fantasy-land, and you have my pity. The ideal America is very different from actual America by the very definition of the word.

    And we all deal daily with the hoax that is the "American melting pot." Yes, it's an ideal that I would love to see, but is it true? We live in the same country, but

    How American were Middle Eastern-looking people in the weeks after 9/11? Were they "welcomed as every bit American as you or me"? I have an uncle who has said that no Muslim is a true American -- that they're all enemies of the US. How inclusive is that comment? And he's not alone. One of the older German people I know who has been in this country for less than 50 years, is complaining about how LEGAL immigrants are coming in and taking "American" jobs. Irony all around!

    And I think it's ironic how Americans hate the French (of course, EVERYONE hates them). But, of all the other cultures on the planet, French culture is the one that most closely mirrors our own -- a passionate nationalistic sense that tends toward the xenophobic, a near-total disregard for other countries' desires and international law, and now, an official language. Culturally, we're more like the French than we'd like to think.

    Would I like to see an America that shines like the city on a hill? Absolutely -- we have the power and ability and strong Constitution to make it so. Does that make me proud of our country? No. It just makes me very excited by our potential!

  • At 9:13 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Mojo said
    I think the Buddhists, Christians, Jews, and other belief systems have it absolutely right when they discourage pride of all sorts.

    I think that once again the english language has shorted us when it comes to expression. The use of the word pride in nationalistic pride is not quite the same as other forms of pride that are frowned upon by religion. It is the same as pride in your children. A father of a newborn child is quite proud and goes around showing pictures, giving the specifics and handing out cigars (real or candy).

    Nationalistic pride is not pointless. It is something that binds us to a group of people that we may never even know or speak to. It adds a cohesiveness to the multi-facested structure of a country's governments, laws and cultures. Otherwise I might walk out of my door and the people next door are as if from another country. Instead I can walk out my door and see fellow Americans (except for the illegal aliens that live across the street).

  • At 10:31 AM, Blogger Mojo_Risin said…

    Well, I guess we differ on that point. I think nationalistic pride is the same as other forms of pride, and probably more dangerous. It also has a potential for good, but we'd probably be better off if we could look past it and get to the rational heart of the matter.

    Not sure where I stand on the whole newborbn-baby-pride angle. I feel like a heel saying that kind of pride is just as wrong as the others, but maybe this is a special case ;-). Or possibly newborn-baby pride isn't really pride at all, but rather an overwhelming feeling of love and excitement and resolution that we have simply named "pride".

  • At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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