True patriotism means getting back out onto the streets and fighting against the unjust violence the US police force perpetrates. We must acknowledge and repair the damage caused to indigenous people: almost all US land was stolen from Indigenous communities who are now underrepresented in national politics. Creating a “more perfect nation” means acknowledging and actively seeking solutions for the harm that was caused in the formation of America.
Patriotism is on the decline. An annual Gallup poll reports that the percentage of Americans who say they are “extremely proud” to be American has decreased steadily, down from 57 percent in 2013 to 42 percent in 2020. Republicans are much more likely to feel pride in their country than Democrats, though even the percentage of patriotic Republicans has dropped in the last few years.
In the United States, many on the left have abandoned any sense of patriotism, disheartened by the far-right nationalism that plagues the US. To many on the left, patriotism is seen as a willful ignorance of the issues facing the US, and there are many—a history of Native American genocide, the legacy of slavery, police brutality and mass incareration, to name only a few. This is not to mention the harm US leaders have inflicted abroad. Fixing these problems is not a small feat when the legal and political systems in the US are systemically racist.