Americans must rethink definition of patriotism

Lip service is rather wonderful. Don’t you agree?

Singing “God Bless America” while waving a U.S. flag, wearing a matching t-shirt and screaming ridiculously calculated criticisms about Middle Eastern people does not make anyone a hyper-patriot. It just makes them one of millions that thought the Sept. 11 attacks were “really, really bad.”

To say that the U.S. is now filled with hyper-patriotism implies that at some point, past or present, there was a base of patriotism. Patriotism signifies love for country and even a willingness to make sacrifices to support it.

Are you kidding me? Nothing says true love like not protecting the civil liberties granted by your country. Nothing says sacrifice like refusing to volunteer your time to help the needy in your country. Nothing says true love like not supporting your country’s intentions to go to war. Nothing says sacrifice like demanding a major tax cut when your country is on the brink of a multi-billion dollar battle. Nothing says true love like alienating fellow citizens because their great grandfather was born in Iran.

Honestly, give me a break.

Before the attacks on our soil, the extent of most people’s “patriotism” failed to stretch beyond Independence Day. They thought of the true greatness of this country for all of five seconds before indulging in the barbecue, fireworks and flowing alcohol.

The only time you even heard people claim they were proud to be Americans was when we cleaned up at the Olympics every four years. So please, don’t tell me we are a country of hyper-patriots. We aren’t even a country of patriots.

I don’t deny that patriotism is still alive in this country, but I do acknowledge that it is indeed a rarity and a gem.

However, if you are a patriot, the question is when did you embrace patriotism: before or after the towers fell?

By the way, if you meet any patriots or “hyper-patriots”, tell them “hi” for me and ask them these questions: Can you name your state’s representatives in Congress? Can you name all 50 states? Can you explain why you are a patriot?

It’s time to realize that we live in a country where so many people have too much trouble mustering patriotism that using the term hyper-patriotism is laughable.

Jason E. Hutchins,18, is a freshman business student from Athens, GA. He is The Famuan’s page designer. He can be reached at