Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The True Meaning of Patriotism

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." --American author Mark Twain (1835-1910)

This is the true meaning, at least in America.  Patriots love their country, and Patriots in America love their country not only because it is their homeland, but because America stands for the best in the world.  

We were the first nation to be founded on a set of First Principles, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence.  They include the rule of law, unalienable rights, equality, the Social Compact, limited government, and the right of the people to alter or abolish an oppressive government.  We are really the only one that fully stands for those principles today.

Sometimes patriots feel compelled to support their government because they feel a need to support the country.  When the government is acting to further the First Principles (or at least in conformity with them), such a sentiment is a noble one.  However, if the government is violating those First Principles, then a Patriot's first duty is to oppose the government - just as Twain remarked. 


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