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American Patriots: Soldiers, Citizens, And Voters Essay

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The United States is presently at war in Iraq and Afghanistan where American troops are fighting and dying. At home, cars and homes display solid yellow or red, white, and blue ribbons that call for Americans to “Support Our Troops.” It is patriotic for Americans to support their daughters and sons fighting in a war, but this patriotism does not mean that Americans must blindly support the decision to go to war. Being patriotic means that Americans must do the opposite: they must question their government. Questioning the government, voting, and respecting the rights of others are what makes true patriots in a democratic society; blind following of one’s government creates dictatorships. The United States government is not perfect, as…show more content…
For a democracy to work, its citizens must keep informed and vocally express their approval and disapproval. The United States government should not proclaim that protestors are not patriotic. By their very act of thinking independently from the government, they are being true patriots. People who agree with a government’s actions are patriots as well – so long as their agreements are based on how they analyze what the government is doing and base their agreement on thought and not on blind obedience. For example, patriotic proponents of the war in Afghanistan base their support on the need to eliminate Al Qaeda and not on simply accepting that the war is correct because government leaders say it is. These supporters for the war are doing so because they have analyzed why American troops are fighting there and have decided that the government is right. Patriotism is based on analysis and reasoned thought, it is not based on blind obedience. Questioning the government is one part of the definition of an American patriot; a second part is taking that analysis of the government and acting on it through voting. To put it simply, patriots vote. However, voting for the American patriot is not simply casting ballots; it is knowing about the issues and then casting ballots. To vote for Democrats or Republicans simply because the voter has always voted for that party or because the voter’s family has always voted for that party is not being patriotic, it is again being
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