Patriotism: Dissent or Devotion?

Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

The following essay was composed as a practice exercise for a college composition exam, which was written in approximately thirty minutes or less.

atriotism is best shown when citizens show their devotion to their country and when citizens express their dissent when it deems necessary.

Robert G. Ingersoll made his statement quite well when he said, “He who loves his country best who strives to make it best.” Countries can not strive to be great unless their citizens show interest and devotion. A country is made by it’s people, meaning the people are the symbol of what the country stands for. If we do not exercise good citizenship, such as voting and serving in the country’s military, who else would do it? Citizens must participate good citizenship by striving to make it best, if they truly do love their country, as quoted by Robert G. Ingersoll earlier.

Devotion to the country is not the only form of patriotism. Throughout history, citizens sought out better government from their country. Sometimes, when you want change, you have to make it happen, often through dissent. No government is perfect; it is the country’s citizens that sees the faults, and they must raise their voices and use dissent when their beliefs might be at stake.

We can recall the American Revolution to actually see how the strive to improve one’s country and dissent plays extreme importance in patriotism. It was initially dissent that gave the United States its independence. The American colonists’ liberty and voices were being limited by the mother country, Britain. But through dissent, Americans were able to see the faults and find ways to form a better government. Of course, there were disagreements and war waged, but change was made. A new nation was formed.

According to the U.S. Constitution, this nation strived for “a more perfect union”, not a perfect one. Therefore, it was made to question, to find the weak points, and to improve. Perhaps dissent did prove to be “the highest form of patriotism”, as Howard Zinn said. However, to continue the patriotism, American citizens had to serve their country to protect it; and, the citizens had to participate in government, in order to keep the standards of the nation.

This being said, patriotism can be found in acts of serving and dissent, and all countries and their citizens can use these forms of patriotism to form a more perfect country.

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I’m your huckleberry. Teen homeschooled scicommer sharing opinions on arrival, leaving my footprint. Founder of STEM First! Gen. medium.com/stem-first-gen