Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Patriotism and politics

Patriotism is what holds a country together. Without it there can no be sense of belonging to it. But it shouldn’t be used as a political tool by some political leaders to reach their political ambitions and anyone opposing them is considered as a traitor. There were many human rights abuses because of the exploitation of patriotism as a pretext to jail or kill political opponents.

Through the use of patriotism, some governments wage wars and consider sacrifices as an honour. Anyone opposing such a war is considered as traitor.

But real patriotism is that when one asks what he has done for his country and not what their country has done for them. There should be a competition for its best. A country belongs to all its citizens. Zealous and blind patriotism on the part of political leaders can lead them to taking excessive measures regardless of the expectations f their people or the international community.

Immigrants, especially in Europe and the United States still have attachments to their countries of origin. In 1998 Football World Cup, the Americans of Irish origins were supporting both the USA and the Irish teams, for them either winning was for them a victory. In Florida, Americans of Cuban origin are still attached to Cuba, by actively opposing the communist government there.

In short, patriotism and politics go hand in hand for people living inside or outside their countries. But patriotism shouldn’t poison politics to the extent of making a country victim of its zealous patriots, through wars, international economic sanctions and human rights abuses.

Patriotism shouldn’t be limited to boisterous speeches, statutes, museums and military and other spectacular parades. For many countries in the third world, patriotism is linked to fighting for liberation and independence. Patriotism should be about the present and not a eulogy of the past in an exaggerated and selective way, especially when it comes to the glorification of a leader that should be regarded above question.

1 comment:

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