When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.
My parents, who were Communists, always pretended to be American patriots. You can always convince yourself you are: 'I love America, I just want it to be perfect, which it will be when it becomes a Soviet Communist state'. When the left called for 'liberation' what it really wanted was to erase the human slate and begin again. Like everybody else, I see things that need to be improved. I just am mindful of the fact that they can be made a lot worse.
That we we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable, established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.
In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American.
The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George...Patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire for safety and security.