The 99 Percent for the 100 Percent: The Case for Deep Patriotism
On the other hand, those attracted to the 99 percent movement, almost by definition, want to embrace the whole country. We love the nation we have—as it is actually emerging and developing—in all of its multi-racial, multi-faith, gender fabulous, twitter-addicted and body-pierced glory. Yes, some small-minded people have tried to hide their intolerance behind the flag. But that kind of cheap patriotism should not be the only kind of patriotism with a megaphone (or a people’s microphone) in America.Available from Amazon
The 99 percent can embrace a deeper patriotism. After all: the millions who identify with The 99 percent are the ones actually fighting, in Dr. King’s words, “to make real the promises of democracy.” In essence, we are standing up for a patriotic principle: “liberty and justice for all.” And many of us take that “for all” part pretty seriously.
Deep patriots don’t just sing the song, “America The Beautiful,” and then go home. We actually stick around to defend America’s beauty—from the oil spillers, the clear-cutters and the mountaintop removers. Deep patriots don’t just visit the Statue of Liberty and send a postcard home to grandma. We defend the principles upon which that great monument was founded—“give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses who yearn to breathe free.” If an embrace of immigrant newcomers was good enough for our grandparents, it should be good enough for our grandchildren. The skin color of today’s immigrants may have changed, but our national values should not.
Deep patriots include people in the business community who want to create jobs in the United States, don’t dodge their taxes, invest in the country and run corporations that respect our air and water. Deep patriots love and respect everyone in the country, regardless of the person’s skin color, sexual orientation, income, faith or tattoos. Deep patriots defend the institutions that make a middle class society possible, including public education, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and a stable business environment for businesses to grow and prosper.
Deep patriots love the whole country, red states and blue states – including everyone in the Tea Party. That’s right: in fact, we love them so much that we do not want them to have to live in the high-risk, low-protection, puny-government world they say they want. Deep patriots don’t want Tea Party members to have to wait seven minutes – or 15 minutes – for someone to pick up the phone when they dial 911. When grandma collapses, a government employee (yup!) should answer on the very first ring.
We don’t want them to suffer through the catastrophe that would result from their victory. Deep patriots don’t just fight against our opponents. We fight for them too.