The Current Controversies series examines today's most important social and political issues. Each volume presents a diverse selection of primary sources representing all sides of the debate in question.

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The Current Controversies series examines today's most important social and political issues. Each volume presents a diverse selection of primary sources representing all sides of the debate in question.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737749229
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 4/15/2011
  • Series: Current Controversies Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 15 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 13

Introduction 16

Chapter 1 What Does It Mean to Be Patriotic?

Overview: There Are Many Differing Opinions About What Constitutes Patriotism USA Today 22

Though a CNN/Gallup poll found that more than 94 percent of Americans consider themselves at least some-what patriotic, little agreement exists about what that means. The issue has become more and more divisive because people now often call others unpatriotic merely because they disagree with them.

Conflicting Patriotic Traditions Have Served American Values Woden Teachout 25

The emphasis of humanitarian patriotism is respect for the individual, while nationalist patriotism emphasizes loyalty to one's country. Though the two may conflict, it cannot be said that one form is constructive and the other destructive, for both have inspired service to America and both have done harm when carried to excess.

The Question of Who Is, or Is Not, Patriotic Often Poisons National Debates Barack Obama 30

In a speech given several months before he was elected president of the United States, Barack Obama responds to opponents' accusations that he is not patriotic and explains that patriotism is more than an abstract love of America, but includes sacrifice and a willingness to work to continually improve America.

Patriotism Is More Closely Linked to Dissent than to Conformity Ron Paul 40

In a speech before the House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul argues that patriotism also includes the effort to resist government oppression. Opponents of government policies are often called unpatriotic; however, it is frequently the actions of those dissenters that preserve our personal liberties.

Patriotism Is Love of Country, Not of Government or Its Policies Ron Sparks 47

Most people do not think about what patriotism means; they blindly follow the lead of the majority, confusing love of one's country with devotion to their government. But believing that the government's war policies are wrong does not mean a person is unpatriotic or does not support the troops.

Patriotism Means Commitment to One's Own Country, Not Just to Universal Ideals Jack Kerwick 52

Most Americans say that a patriot is someone who is committed to the principles of liberty and equality on which the nation was founded. But these ideals are shared by many people throughout the world, while love of country is something more specific. It means loving one's own country despite its faults, just as one unconditionally loves one's own family.

Patriotism Is a Complex and Deeply Personal Emotion Maryna Hrushetska 56

Beliefs about the meanings of patriotism presented by speakers at an Optimist's Breakfast described patriotism to be more than a declaration of commitment to one's country. When looking at patriotism, one should also consider the classical definition, which stretches beyond one's national affiliation.

True Patriotism Demands Commitment to Continuing Progress Eric Liu Nick Hanauer 59

The ideals upon which America was founded have disappeared in today's more cynical generation. The concept of patriotism has been cheapened and used in destructive ways. It is time to return to the principles of service to the country and concern about the future that made America great in the past.

Chapter 2 Is Patriotism on the Decline?

Chapter Preface 69

Yes: Fewer Americans Are Patriotic Today than in the Past

Discouragement of Patriotism Leads to the Loss of National Will Thomas Sowell 72

The disdain of patriotism among educators in the European democracies after World War I was responsible for the lack of national will leading to the surrender of France to Nazi Germany early in World War II. Americans, with the recent decline in patriotism, may be setting themselves up for a similar fate.

The Cooling of Patriotism Is Real and Extremely Dangerous Lloyd Marcus 75

Patriotism is on the decline as the media and even the president promote a negative perception of the United States.

Young People Lack National Spirit Sally Friedman 78

As evidenced in the singing of the national anthem in one school, the patriotism that was fervent among older generations is sadly missing in younger Americans.

No: Patriotism Is Now Thriving in America

Nearly All Americans See Themselves as Patriotic Kathy Frankovic 81

Americans are still patriotic as was seen in a poll that found most Americans identify themselves as either very or somewhat patriotic. Criticism of the government should not be confused with being unpatriotic.

Patriotism Is Evident Throughout America Scott T. Sturkol 84

Patriotism is evident among all Americans-in small-town festivals and parades, on homes, in schools and city businesses and government buildings.

American Patriotism Is Alive and Well Jeanette Krebs 87

People agree that they love and support their country even though they keep their feelings about being a patriot to themselves. Americans should not be ashamed of their patriotism.

A New Form of Patriotism Is Inspiring Americans to Help Each Other Patricia J. Williams 90

Citizens everywhere in America are displaying a renewed enthusiasm toward serving the nation. Volunteerism has risen and people feel inspired to do whatever they can to make things better, which many believe is the true essence of patriotism.

Political Liberals as Well as Conservatives Are Now Promoting Patriotism Michael Kazin 95

President Barack Obama's climb to the presidency resulted in a renewed sense of patriotism. Although conservatives will try to maintain their image as the strongest patriots, liberals have come to realize that they cannot lead the nation without acknowledging a love for America.

Chapter 3 Is Patriotism Desirable?

Chapter Preface 102

Yes: Patriotism Promotes Good Citizenship and Improvement of the Nation

Patriotism Fuels and Advances the Nation Geoffrey Whitener 104

Being a patriot is essential to being a good American citizen. Patriotism is the only thing that unites us as a country.

Patriotism Can Serve Constructive Purposes in Education Peter Levine 107

Although many Americans may want patriotism taught in schools, educators generally oppose it as controversial. However, patriotism has numerous benefits, including encouraging political participation, critical thinking, and positive character development.

Patriotism Is Misunderstood by Its Opponents Bookworm 114

Opponents of patriotism do not understand that true patriotism is the opposite of the totalitarianism to which they fear it will lead.

No: Patriotism Should Not Be Encouraged

Nations Should Not Be Valued Merely for Their Own Sake Ilya Somin 119

Patriotism can be dangerous when it leads people to blindly support tyrannical governments.

Patriotism Conflicts with the Idea That Government Exists to Serve the People George Kateb 122

Advocates of patriotism often compare love of country to love of parents, yet this comparison is not valid. Citizens do not have an obligation to be patriotic as they were neither created for nor are they owned by their government.

The Cultivation of Patriotism by Governments Never Leads to Good The Radix 131

Patriotism requires citizens to feel superior to those of other nations. Additionally, it prohibits the critical debate that is essential to a democracy.

Chapter 4 Should Flag Burning Be Banned by Law?

Overview: Most Americans Want Flag Burning Banned but Say It Has Low Priority Paul Taylor 136

Nearly three Americans out of four say flag burning should be illegal, but it ranks low among issues on which people feel Congress should act. A constitutional amendment would be required to ban flag burning, and in 2006 such an amendment failed to pass in Congress by just one vote.

Yes: The Constitution Should Be Amended to Abolish Flag Burning

The Supreme Court Deprived Americans of the Right to Protect the Flag Clarence E. Hill 141

Congress came close to passing a constitutional amendment in 1989 that would have banned desecration of the flag. Citizens must support the current measure to protect the flag.

The Flag Is Important and Should Be Protected by a Constitutional Amendment John Andretti 144

The US flag is an important symbol that represents the bond between all Americans. The great majority support protecting the flag, and they deserve the support of Congress to ensure the flag is not desecrated.

Banning Desecration of the Flag Is Necessary and Has Nothing to Do with Partisan Politics David G. Bancroft 150

Congress is divided on the issue of providing special status to the American flag. The flag needs to have the value attributed to it that it rightly deserves.

No: The Flag Symbolizes Americans' Right to Freedom of Expression

The Founders Agreed That the First Amendment Protected Symbolic Acts Eugene Volokh 154

Although advocates of a constitutional amendment to prevent flag burning assert the First Amendment only protects speech, the speech restrictions that existed at the time the Constitution was written cover both verbal and symbolic expression.

Flag Burning Neither Compromises National Security nor Indicates Treason Julie Marsh 157

In America, unlike some countries, we don't punish anti-government protests.

Taking Away the Right to Defile the Flag Would Violate the Ideals for Which It Stands Odeliah Dorko 161

Although flag burning is offensive, it should be legal because the Constitution was written to protect all forms of expression.

Organizations to Contact 164

Bibliography 167

Index 170

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