39 thoughts on “Best Patriotic Speech Ever?

  1. We are on the road to joining the lesser “democracies”. Right wing populism was described as successful because, and when, it gave simple answers to complicated problems.

    I think we are witnessing a real test of our exceptionalism and finding it wanting. Until we create reality instead of conspiracy as a national pastime things are looking shaky.

    It would not be this way barring a Congress loaded with scared politicians in what should be a loyal opposition.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Without knowing anything about the TV character, I’d say the speech isn’t patriotic at all. If you love your wife, do you tell her she’s fat?

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    1. If your wife’s obesity is a health issue, then you should consider what you can do to help her, not just call her fat.

      Kind of like patriotism on a very local level.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “If your wife’s obesity is a health issue, then you should consider what you can do to help her, not just call her fat.”

        In other words, to show love you would act lovingly, not unlovingly.

        Patriotism is the same way. A person can’t be patriotic and unpatriotic at the same time.

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        1. “A person can’t be patriotic and unpatriotic at the same time.”

          Vague and very subjective.

          Saluting the flag and criticizing the government are long standing traditions in our country.

          If Catholic, you can believe in its tenets and dictums, but certainly call the Church out on its sexual abuse history and shaky financial scandals using faithful donations.

          In the video, we see a backlash against the patriotic version of everyone gets a trophy.

          You can say we are the greatest country in the world, but if we aren’t in many measures, is that lie helpful? Or necessary? Or a problem?

          Blinders might be good for horses with riders, but dangerous in the wild.

          Tough love is not just a catch phrase for parenting.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Acting lovingly is helping her live healthier in this case.

          You can tell her you love her, but don’t back it up with a box of chocolates just because candy might be a traditional gift.

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          1. Better than giving her poison and calling THAT love.

            Life is full of nuance, grey areas and compromises. And just like love, politics, patriotism there are few black and white decisions.

            For current relevance, should we bestow the mantle of patriotism if a person carries his American flag up the steps to the Capitol then uses it to beat law enforcement officers half to death?

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          2. RE: “For current relevance, should we bestow the mantle of patriotism if a person carries his American flag up the steps to the Capitol then uses it to beat law enforcement officers half to death?”

            That’s a fair question. I’m in favor of calling something what it is, not what it is not. But that presupposes knowing what something is, not making shallow assumptions about it.

            I don’t see any patriotism in the speech in the video because — not knowing anything about the speaker — I am unable to say whether or not his criticisms express love of America. What I object to is the shallow assumption that being critical is an act of love of country.

            Similarly in your example, I wouldn’t assume that anyone who carries the flag is patriotic. Nor would I assume that beating a policeman with it is unpatriotic.

            With the video speech there is no such complexity. Given the choice between saying something positive about his country or something negative, the speaker chooses to say something negative. Only in some alternate universe can that choice be described as inherently patriotic.

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          3. Well, you see and hear what you want.

            “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

            This was in reference to a wartime editorial by TR when he was out of office.

            The president is, of course, the head of state and criticism is obviously more broad based than just as another citizen.

            The point of the video was simply that people are lying to themselves if the believe we are the greatest ever. We’ve done good things as well as truly evil things. Just like all nations.

            Bluntly, we built a huge economy on some good principles and some heinous actions. We helped win two wars in the last 150 years. Not trivial, but we can’t rest on that forever.

            Pointing out our weaknesses with the idea of improvement is patriotic.

            We should not be “unpatriotic and servile”, but for millions of right wing populists, that servility is paramount.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. RE: “Pointing out our weaknesses with the idea of improvement is patriotic.”

            I call that Orwellian. There’s nothing wrong with criticism. Just don’t call it patriotic.

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          5. I disagree and find TR’s quote to be true.

            You can bet all those phony reports about Obama (apology tour, infrastructure, etc.) that were passed around by the right were considered patriotic by his opponents.

            Our whole system of government is based on input from “We the People” as a representative democracy. Debate, criticism, and the design of our Constitution are supposed to be the key to a peaceful transition of power by favoring verbal rather than physical confrontations.

            If one is not concerned enough about his country to ask questions, demand answers and challenge the government, then one is not a patriot. Just a cheerleader.

            Liked by 2 people

          6. “Just don’t call it patriotic.”

            Sounds kind of anti-First Amendment. We have the constitutional right to air our grievances against the government. Criticism is included in grievances normally. So being critical of the country is not only patriotic; it is a right.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. “I’d say the speech isn’t patriotic at all.”

      Maybe it is because you are unable to distinguish between lip service and true love.

      It is common for politicians seeking favor to declare that “America is the greatest country ever.” Leaders of both parties do it. But is it true? As this speech by the fictional newsman makes pretty clear – it isn’t. But then the real patriot must ask . . . “What can we do to make that the truth?”

      As aside, the bit at the end of the speech is what it really would mean to “Make America Great Again” – things that are the very opposite of Trumpism.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “Maybe it is because you are unable to distinguish between lip service and true love.”

        Is that all you got?

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          1. This is getting silly.

            Both you and Don are peeved because the comments are not just cheerleading the Fourth.

            Some of us truly feel concerned the path we are taking and I feel that commemorative holidays should both be a celebratory as well as a time for reflection.

            Patriotism is not a matter of taking sides against other Americans. Nor is it a litmus test based on overt worship of symbols.

            Yet that is how many see it.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “I feel that commemorative holidays should both be a celebratory as well as a time for reflection.”

            That’s fine, even inevitable. Just don’t call refection celebration.

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          3. “You aren’t responding to me, then.”

            Actually, I am.
            As always, when what you have said is held up to your face you always start weaseling out of owning what you have said.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “Actually, I am.”

            No. You accuse me of beliefs I don’t have, and haven’t expressed.

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          5. “No. You accuse me of beliefs I don’t have, and haven’t expressed.”

            Uh, yes you have.

            “I’d say the speech isn’t patriotic at all. If you love your wife, do you tell her she’s fat?”

            See – you equate telling the truth with NOT being patriotic.
            Own what you say and quit your weaseling.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I am reminded of two phrases that are worth remembering:

    First, Democracy is hard work. (Many authors.)

    Next, Americans will do the right thing after all other options are tried. (Churchill, I believe).

    The first phrase is undoubtedly true. Even the founders were very aware of the importance of an informed electorate. The Postal Service carved into the Constitution is the there for that reason. But just informing is not enough. The electorate needs to be responsible for educating itself regarding issues to be voted on. And the crucial importance of understanding that democracy is also messy, but workable in the spirit of compromise to a common goal.

    Churchill was being glib and witty, but there is an air of truth to that also. And it has caused us grief as well as praise. Unfortunately we are slow learners. The parallels of Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan wars are eerily similar. Both suffered from misleading and blatantly false narratives fed to the populace until we did the right thing by pulling out.

    Again, the first phrase is crucial. Without valid information, democracy failed to act decisively and early to extract troops once victory was elusive or not real. Or even to enter the wars at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I guess we will have to take a world vote to determine who is the greatest country in the world. My bets are we will be the only country where half of its citizens (miserable liberals and activists) say we are not while every other country unanimously claims they are. All this while the US is THE most sought after country to immigrate to. Oh, forgot, Trump, Trump, Trump, Fox, Fox, Fox, blah, blah, blah…

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    1. If you followed the speech it was not a matter of opinion. It was a matter of evidence. The evidence does not support the claim that “We are the greatest nation ever.” Simple really. If you really beleive that we are the greatest country in the world then evidence is not important to you when you make a claim.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Statistics can go both ways and someone who spouts off subjective unverified numbers is not evidence of anything. So turn your back on ONE nation, denounce citizenship and then go be miserable with your activist chumps in another country. Simple…

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        1. Actually, this is a very famous speech in the history of television and has been widely reviewed and vetted. The statistics cited are not “alternative facts.”

          It is you sad little Trumpkins who hate this country and the people in it so maybe you should take your own advice? I know. Russia is a nice white country ruled by a dictator. You would like it there.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Um, I don’t know what “television” you watch but any speech loaded with f bombs would never air on mine unless you are referring to a tv drama show on netflix thats a STORY not fact so no not buying it or the phony “evidence”.

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          2. The show was called “The Newsroom” and aired on HBO. Yes, it is a work of fiction. It was created by Aaron Sorkin who is also the creator and writer for the very successful “The West Wing” and several other modern cultural touchstones.

            Here is another very famous scene by the same author from “The West Wing” that you might find interesting. The speaker is playing the President (actor is Martin Sheen)

            Liked by 1 person

    2. “I guess we will have to take a world vote to determine who is the greatest country in the world.”

      Kind of like the Dallas Cowboys being dubbed “America’s Team”? No one ever asked me about that. 😇

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  5. I don’t see the speech as either patriotic or honest.

    There is no more truth in a speech that focuses entirely on what is wrong with America and excludes what is right than in one which speaks only if our triumphs and denies our shortcomings.

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    1. Not honest?

      You apparently did not actually listen to the speech. The speaker cited the evidence that works against the claim that we are the greatest. But he also went through a long and loving litany of our past glories and accomplishments.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “Yes, he put all of America’s good in the past.”

          Ironic, isn’t it?

          Patriotism = Hating what our nation has become compared to what it used to be.

          You gotta wonder where systemic racism fits in such a narrative.

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          1. “You gotta wonder where systemic racism fits in such a narrative”

            Until it is completely eradicated, it is part of the narrative. Improvements have been made, but it has not been completely removed from the systems in this country.

            Liked by 2 people

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