Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Love Your Country, Not Your Government

I was recently engaged in a debate with a fellow libertarian on the subject of the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.  His point was well taken that devotion to the government was not a laudible trait.  I guess I've just never viewed these as devotional, but in all honesty, they are.  His question to me, and mine for you:  Should we pledge allegiance to a government? 

For me the answer is no.  I pledge allegiance to the concept of liberty, I respect our national anthem for what it represents, the same as I respect our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines for the sacrifices they make, even though I may not agree with the decisions of the people who send them to war.  I love our Country, the union that we've created, the ideals upon which we were founded.  I do not love the Government. 

Our Nation consists of the political boundaries, it's citizens, the founding ideals and the overall character of its people.  This, I find a lot to love about.  The Government consists of a massive bureaucracy, restraints on individual liberty, a drain on productive capacity, and a poisonous, rancorous enablement of dependency, meant not to enrich the lives of its citizens but only to prolong and enrich its own existence. 

In the Government I find nothing to love.  To the Government I will never pledge allegiance. 

Don't confuse Patriotism for blind obedience and acceptance of your Government.  Nor is it supporting the actions and excuses it makes around the world.  Patriotism is standing up for the ideals that made our country great to begin with.  Patriotism is standing up for true liberty, even if that means facing down your government.

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