North Texas Daily

Forced patriotism goes against our personal freedoms

Forced patriotism goes against our personal freedoms

Forced patriotism goes against our personal freedoms
February 26
11:11 2021

Overt, oftentimes intense, patriotism can come naturally to some and sometimes be a tad off-putting to others, even in the lesser sense of some individuals who are intense with their patriotism. Being patriotic and loving your country for your own personal reasons is acceptable if you wish to align yourself with pure, undying love for where you reside. Furthermore, not having an unbridled, sometimes blind love for the country you live in because you recognize how not everyone is treated the same way in that country is also acceptable if you wish to align yourself with those personal views. 

While being patriotic and not being patriotic often gets sequestered into assuming a political ideology of a person, one of the great things about living in a country that has freedoms is the very freedom to express how much you love your country or being able to freely express that you understand the issues that are bound to happen in a country that often favors individuals of specific groups. The freedom of choice is one of the greatest, most significant freedoms that is guaranteed in America, no matter who you are or what you do. 

Forced patriotism, however, betrays both the passionately patriotic and the passively patriotic. Forcing patriotism onto anyone also betrays that great freedom of choice we all have, even the ones who view patriotism as a defining factor of who they are. While these same individuals might not view forced patriotism as problematic or out of the ordinary, pushing that same forceful agenda onto others who may not feel the same way, only lessens the overall impact that patriotism could possibly and eventually have on someone. 

No one likes to be forced to do anything and no one likes to be told what to think. Even the ones whose brains are already wired to be patriotic, being force-fed more patriotism against their will could possibly turn them off of it or eventually contribute to dangerously radical ideas or actions. If those individuals take kindly to the force-feeding of patriotism, it is likely they will further try to “convert” the so-called naysayers into believing it just as much as them, which could likely cause those other individuals to resort to violence or abuse directed at the ones who took in force-fed patriotism, or could lead to an even harsher straying away of patriotism as a whole. 

A good example of forced patriotism comes in the form of “The 1776 Commission” that former President Donald Trump created in 2020 to “promote patriotic education to counter lessons that divide Americans on race and slavery and teach students to “hate their own country.” He also stated that the commission’s creation would “better enable a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776 and to strive to form a more perfect Union.” Trump was hardly the shining face of respecting democratic institutions, even though he believed himself to be the ultimate American. Trump’s constant disregard for this paired with the introduction of a commission that places patriotism at the forefront of education seems like an oxymoron to say the least. Forcing all students to endure a curriculum without choice once again goes against one of those great freedoms guaranteed in this country. It’s hypocritical and problematic all in one. Fortunately, President Joe Biden eliminated the commission when he was elected, but it should have been curbed at its inception.

Patriotism can be a great thing for certain individuals or a passing concept to others and whichever you align with more is fine if that is what you choose to do for yourself. We cannot push forced patriotism on all when it goes against the freedoms we all are given, no matter the beliefs or values that are held independently. 

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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