On Love of Country

Item: Americans are a patriotic bunch. Compared with people in most other countries, Americans express more pride in their nationality, and most say that being an American is an important part of their identity.

Even so, patriotism in America is on the decline.

But the decline seems to have more to do with reactions to the symbols of American democracy than its values. Older Americans remain remarkably high in their devotion to symbols like the flag, while young citizens are cooler toward Old Glory but express higher support for classic American ideals like equality and opportunity.

Item: As often occurs, I run the risk of offending patriotic Filipinos, some of whom I might refer to as Pacquiao patriots and others who have traveled the world, and still relish coming home. I’m looking for a deep meaning to patriotism. One that is rich and caring, where the reason for being patriotic is not “me”, but “us”, the nation Philippines. For example, people with the kind of patriotism I’m talking about would have no patience for corruption because corruption undermines the nation’s well-being.

“We don’t care.”  A phrase that is both unscrupulous and very apropos. All we care about is how to outsmart each other, and if you are in government. outsmarting the people you are supposed to serve. Call it the exigencies of an era, but patriotism or love of country has taken a hike.  The out-of-the-ballpark case of unpatriotic chutzpah is the selling of the Spratly Islands to China by

Gloria Arroyo and her ilk.  Now the aggressive Chinese are exacting their pound of flesh.  President Noynoy Aquino’s government is now in a severe bind and find it very difficult to contain the Chinese land-grab.  It does not help that funds for the modernization of the Philippine Armed Forces have been pocketed by previous dispensations.

Call it the age, but Filipinos–at least the noisy ones in media and social networking–are cunningly bereft of patriotism, which borders on lunacy.  The likes of Noli de Castro, for example.  Oh, and there are a lot more out there.

By and large, overseas Filipinos are more patriotic than those left behind.  It simply is a case of distinguishing the forest from the trees.  They see and appreciate the macro like flying over the terrain. Too, they are not subjected to the negative narratives of the Philippine Media.

With China creeping in, how would these recalcitrant media fare under Communist rule?

A big think, indeed.




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