This has been a very emotional week for America. First hurricanes, and now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. History. My parents were at the concert where the shooting took place and they said the sounds, screams, and horrors were indescribable. With nearly 60 dead and 500 injured, many questions are directed towards “why?” Was it mental illness or was it something different. One theory I heard is that the anger resulting in the horror was directed at the type of people attending the concert. If you have been to a country music concert, you know that they tend to have very patriotic crowds. There is seemingly more red, white and blue in a country concert than anywhere else. Of course, you would think that a patriotic crowd shouldn’t find many enemies in their own country, right? Well, maybe times have just changed. It used to be that the majority would considered patriots as the backbone of this country. However, over the past few years, the media has completely changed the way many view patriots. It seems like it’s no longer popular, trendy, or cool to be patriotic.
In the early to mid 2000’s (following 9/11), the media rallied the country together and patriotism was rampant. It was the most politically correct type of person to be. Whether you were a proud marine or just a proud citizen, being patriotic was a must if you lived in the United States. We sang “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch instead of “Take Me Out to The Ballgame.” Shit, National Anthems were sang with pride and brought people of this nation from all different backgrounds together. We were united against one common enemy and that enemy was not ourselves. And then things started to change.
Have you noticed the difference in the way the media portrays patriotism now versus before? Over the past few years, and especially since Trump walked into the oval office, patriotism started to be seen differently. Now it seems like people view patriotic “flag wavers” as racist, white, and misguided Americans. Anti-patriotism actions, whether they be burning the flag or protesting during the National Anthem, have garnered more positive reactions than ever imagined. We seem to be more divided then ever. Okay, so the key question is how much of this is real and/or how much of this has been driven by our media. Did our hatred of those that bombed us on 9/11 lead the country to seeing different religions and/or different skin colors more negatively than before? This, in turn, may have lead us into the current divide we find ourselves in? Or has all of this just been the media driving hateful publicity. If so, what are the media’s motives behind changing the perspective of the nation? And, more importantly, what can we do to change that?
For our country to succeed we need to believe in the ideals that this country was founded on. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the values patriots hold dear to their hearts. They are values we have and continue to fight for. Obviously we have fallen short at times. But, we keep trying. That’s the American way. Regardless of race, social class, and/or religious beliefs, we are all American. I am not saying that there are zero flaws in patriotism. But what I am saying is that Patriotism happens to be the one thing that can unite us and bring this nation together. I find it very interesting that the media would want to destroy something that binds us. Instead of using the power to build patriotic morale, it appears the media is deliberately trying to destroy it.
Everyone understands this is the home of the free because of the brave. But maybe it’s time to make this place the land of the brave as well. Not by stomping on our flag, but instead by working together as Americans to fix problems. So, stand up America and have pride in yourselves and this country. We, the people, support this country because we live here and it provides us with a plethora of opportunities. And if you have a problem with that, you can get the hell out.