Arrogance over patriotism

Has arrogance overridden pride in the country?

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Arrogance over patriotism

Claudia Huggins, Managing Editor

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As Americans, pride in the U.S. isn’t tough to find. Visit a local grocery store, mall or school. There’s a decent chance that an American T-shirt, hat, jacket or even a pair of shoes will be sighted at some point. Everywhere we look there is red, white and blue everything. However, what is pride? How do we, as citizens of the United States, ultimately show our pride? How do we choose to make it known to others that we are “proud to be Americans?” It’s often taken to social media, particularly Twitter.

The tag #AmericanPride can be found in many tweets all over twitter. Popular tags to follow this one include #AmericaFirst, #AmericaStrong and #WeThePeople. These tags are often universal as well. Sometimes they can be used in opposition or extreme support of the government or the President himself.

Everyday, millions of citizens tweet opinions out for the world to read, and just as many people are the ones doing the reading. However, it isn’t just online that people are flaunting their pride for everyone to see. Any public area is subject to conversations regarding the United States’ raving reviews.

Recently in the AP U.S. History class, teacher Nathaniel Langelli wrote a focus question on the board: “Has Americans’ pride in America turned to arrogance?” His class discussed the question that day.

“I see a lot of things in the media where there’s a lot of anger, a lot of tension, and it just got me thinking and thought the students should, too,” Langelli said.

He explained that during class that day, the students were instructed to research certain criteria to decide whether America is the best country or not, then left it up to the students to decide for themselves.

“Some students said that maybe by their own criteria, America isn’t the greatest country in the world, but others said they still thought it was the best,” Langelli said.

However, there is still one problem: if citizens are all using different criteria to judge one country’s standing, how is it possible to say whether it’s the best or not?

“Just like every good country, every good school, every good business; you can have pride in it and understand that it’s great, but I think it’s also important to recognize where the flaws are at and what things you can work towards to try and be even better,” Langelli said.

Aside from criteria created by the students, there are several other categories that are globally judged. For example, 34 percent of all billionaires are in the United States. While this may sound like a pro, the poverty level is still the highest in the United States out of all of the other 35 developed countries, which are countries that are economically developed.

The United States also scored 16th in literacy proficiency, 21st in numeric proficiency and 14th in problem solving out of 23 other developed countries.

When patriotism in the United States is expressed, or patriotism for anything that is, flaws are never expressed along with it. However, some may not realize the amount of flaws that exist.

The United States may not have the worst rankings, but we certainly don’t rank number one in all of the categories. So, what is the line between patriotism and arrogance? The difference between accepting flaws and issues is the false reality of the country we live in today.