There is no room for nationalism in the promise of America
When I was a child I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my dad. I still see it so vividly, the mint green walls, and cabinets, the metal kitchen table, the Naugahyde upholstery on the chairs. I could not have been more than nine or ten. He would have a few beers in him, and would be reminiscing of his time in the Navy during WWII. The story would always come back to him saying, “Our country is not perfect, but we must be doing something right when so many people want to come here.”
Now, I love this country, and its people, all of them, not just the folks who agree with me. I will also say that our country has been far from perfect, our history is riddled with racism, war, genocide, enslavement, and cruelty. But, I do believe in the promise of America, that promise that makes people want to come here.
On July 8, 1947, Harry S. Truman said in a special message to Congress,
… America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.
George Washington, in his farewell address, written in 1796, said we should,
[G]uard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
Since September 11, 2001, we, as a nation, have been living in fear, and have seen well-intended patriotism turn into nationalism before our eyes. I often wonder if what we are seeing is what the German people saw during Hitler’s rise to power. They saw their friends and neighbors support and defend a madman.
I am not one for hyperbole—I believe in researching a topic, and presenting facts, and evidence to back up my claims. I know I have a personal bias that leans left in the political world. I take all of that into consideration when I come to a conclusion about a subject, especially one that touches upon politics.