What does it mean to be American? Citizenship, one may think, but the media and court of public opinion would disagree. True patriotism gets interpreted by some as angrily defending (with a religious fervor) statist symbolism and indoctrinated rites of "showing respect". They insist that to be a Great American we must maintain unquestioning obedient support to traditional titles, groups, and structures- regardless of any short-sighted policies or the blatantly feudalistic goals of those now-purchased seats of power.
Others think being an American is about the higher ideals they would like to think our nation stood for once. Our conveniently augmented understanding of history gives us many heroes to cherish, while always skirting around the greater lessons that could truly educate and embolden the public. The reality is, a great many American idealists rejected duplicitous politics, challenged self-serving authority figures, and often openly defied the law, existing government or its enforcers. Isn't Americanism revolutionary?
Here's the thing about labels; we quite literally make them up. Thus they will always be subject to the interpretation and opinion of individuals. And they will change over time, as everything does- creating a widely accepted blind commitment to a variable concept. Over-fixation and endless debate over how this particular label currently does or doesn't apply, and to whom, is ironically robbing us all of the much wider reality-based perspectives which would unite us. Like, that we're all humans who share this home.
Injustice, cruelty, and sociopathic behavior have become normalized in today's world. Institutionalized mass murder gets glorification and yearly budget increases for the same reason corporate CEO's and most congressmen are millionaires. We are a for-profit society of greed, waste, and death. Somehow our goals of "opportunity and freedom for all" has morphed into an 'American Dream' of financial success compared to and on the backs of others. And the ones who are best at it tightly hold American political control.
Trump is this king-of-the-hill American mentality distilled, in all its ugliness. Might equals right. A lie can become truth if repeated often enough. Bravado substitutes substance, violence is strength, and success at "Making America Great Again" is through economic and military conquest to prove superiority. Building easily on the work of his corporate puppet predecessors, he's continued this oligarchic agenda of profit through war and division, making Trump a most successful- and thus Great- American! ...right?
Nationalism is the rally tool of tyrants without legitimate support.
#EarthIsMyHome #HumanityIsMyPeople #PeaceIsRespect #RomanEmpireII #FreedomIsNoLabels