A new Gallup poll was published (hey, look at that, just in time for the fourth of July) that says that American patriotism has hit a record low. That’s really no surprise. Most Americans do not support Trump and are rightly embarrassed by his administration. It’s hard to be proud of something that’s an active embarrassment.
I’ve never thought of myself as a patriotic person. There are many things I like about living in the US, but there are many things I don’t like about it too. I just happened to be born here. It’s nothing to get excited about. I’m sure my life would be pretty similar if I happened to be born anywhere from Japan to Sweden.
But, I’m finding in myself the opposite of what that poll found in most Americans. Since Trump took office, I seem to feel more patriotic than I’ve ever felt before. This is the first time in my life that the US has been seriously threatened and it makes me sad. And it’s not just the sadness I feel in sympathy for all of the people being hurt. That’s there, of course, but it is mixed with a different sadness. It feels sad in the same way as discovering a close friend or family member is actually a horrible person. It turns out, even though I never realized it, that I did (and still do) care about America.
So, what to do with my newfound patriotism? The only answer seems to be fight. I should do whatever I can (which admittedly isn’t much) to try to get control of America away from those who are actively hurting it. America has never been close to perfect, but Trump has taught me that it is worth fighting for. I don’t even want to imagine what happens if we lose this fight.