Thursday, July 3, 2014

US activists answer: What is patriotism?

3 July 2014
By Megan Fincher
National Catholic Reporter

"David McReynolds, 84, worked for the War Resisters League from 1960 until his retirement in 1999. On Nov. 6, 1965, he was one of five men who publicly burned their draft cards at New York's Union Square, merely three months after the United States declared public draft-card burning a felony. In 1980, McReynolds became the first openly gay man in U.S. history to run for president of the United States, representing the Socialist Party USA.

What is patriotism?
At 84, and having been active for many years in the War Resisters League and the Socialist Party, particularly in the struggle to end the Vietnam War, I've had much reason to think about the meaning of patriotism. My primary allegiance is not to the United States but perhaps to my own immediate community here in the Lower East Side [of Manhattan], which I can "touch and feel." It is impossible for me to feel either "loyal" or "disloyal" to the United States. There is so much good in our history that I affirm, and so much evil, which I must oppose, that I think the best definition of patriotism is loyalty to the human race, under constant threats of war and environmental devastation, not to any single nation state...."

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