WDP — Stranger In a Strange Land

Are you patriotic? What does being patriotic mean to you?

Am I patriotic? Good question. I used to be. Back in 1999, my answer to this question would have been unequivocal. You’re goddam right I’m patriotic.

But then the century turned. The Supreme Court handed George W. Bush the presidency of the United States even though Al Gore received more votes. Maybe that’s when my faith in my country started to erode. And it has been chipped away ever since to the point that I don’t know if I’m patriotic anymore.

What does it mean to be patriotic? It means being loyal and devoted to one’s country and its ideals, principles, and values. It also means being proud of one’s country, loving it, honoring its history and symbols, and doing one’s best to contribute to the country’s success and wellbeing.

Ideals, principles, and values, huh? I’m afraid there’s the rub. The ideals, principles, and values that I see being embraced in 21st century America are unrecognizable to me. I do not share them. In fact, I am appalled by them.

I can honestly say that I am no longer proud of my country. I feel like I’m surrounded by people who I don’t understand and who don’t understand me. People who are not only dishonoring the history and symbols of the nation, but appear bound and determined to tear it all to shreds. And that breaks my heart.

The trouble is that, despite all this, despite my disappointment and disillusionment, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. And I’m too old to start over someplace else, anyway. So here I will remain, a stranger in a strange land.

59 thoughts on “WDP — Stranger In a Strange Land

  1. Sadje February 18, 2023 / 6:55 pm

    I think we still are patriotic but not loyal to the government and it’s decisions.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Christine Bolton, Poetry for Healing February 18, 2023 / 8:06 pm

    Many of us feel the same way Fan. Although I am an American Citizen, I was not born here and still have my British Citizenship. The sad thing is I see a similarity across the pond. It seems people there are as angry and misguided as they are here. I blame a lot of our problems on Reality TV and social media. It was fun in the beginning being shocked to see how other people behave in a public arena or being able to find long lost friends on FB, but now? It has turned into something quite distasteful and has created highly paid monsters.
    For me, WP is the only social media I am interested in. As to where to move to? Who knows anymore? Sad isn’t it?

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Marilyn Armstrong February 18, 2023 / 8:55 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. I don’t think that part of “aging.” I think we live in “interesting times.” I think I was a lot happier is less interesting times.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Fandango February 18, 2023 / 9:10 pm

      Yes, “interesting” doesn’t mean “better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn Armstrong February 18, 2023 / 9:41 pm

        Nor did the Chinese, who supposedly originated that expression MEAN better. It meant worse. Interesting times are generally difficult times. I suppose we should have expected some hard years but I didn’t. Bet you didn’t either. We thought we’d gotten to our senior years and it was going to be relatively smooth sailing. But getting old is harder than we expected — and we sure as hell didn’t expect the entire country to go wacko. I still haven’t recovered from Trump and as far as I can tell, neither has anyone else. It didn’t take much to tear this country apart. We went up like a rocket and having reached the top of that parabolic curve, are descending even faster. A very brief and shining time in the sun for the USA as we crash back to earth.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. jai February 18, 2023 / 9:21 pm

    To me, the whole world has gone down a rabbit hole and can’t find their way back. I hope things get better, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango February 18, 2023 / 9:26 pm

      A good way of describing the world we live in: a rabbit hole.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Forestwood February 18, 2023 / 10:04 pm

    Miscreant leaders test our faith in democracy and in some ways, it is flawed. I feel saddened for the way America is going and am thankful we have turned over a new leaf (for the minute) although we have had some fools in power for some time now in Australia too. We are much smaller though so they do less damage, globally speaking. The relatively stable period politically has led to dissatisfaction with smaller issues, which ironically lead to more negativity, foolisheness, more inequality and divisiveness. But it is not too late to reverse the trend.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. margaret21 February 19, 2023 / 12:20 am

    I feel a lot like Christine – and you. The days when I could feel that most politicians, even if I didn’t agree with them, were at least honest and doing what they believed to be right are long gone in favour of greed and self-interest. I agree with her comments about social media too. These days, WP is my only contact with such a world. So dispiriting.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Fandango February 19, 2023 / 5:33 am

      I like Leon Russell, too. Not so fond of America.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. newepicauthor February 19, 2023 / 6:20 am

    FOX News knew that Trump lost the election, but they kept supporting him because they didn’t want to lose ground to more conservative stations. Most people are basically stupid and when you can’t trust the news, that is when hope is lost.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Fandango February 19, 2023 / 8:07 am

      Yes, the problem is that the news you see on TV isn’t unbiased news anymore. It’s mostly propaganda and people buy it hook, line, and sinker.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Eugenia February 19, 2023 / 7:35 am

    The world we live in – a rabbit hole, indeed! Thus, we live each moment to the fullest.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. JT Twissel February 19, 2023 / 11:31 am

    I saw that prompt and didn’t know what to make of it. It’s patriotic to vote and to protest and I do both. It is not patriotic to blindly follow leaders or groups. It is patriotic to educate yourself. It’s not patriotic to sit watching news channels all day long.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Fandango February 19, 2023 / 12:43 pm

      Some on the right are trying to ban protests. And some on the right are soaking up all of the propaganda presented on Fox News and other far-right “news” channels. I vote. I protest. But, pardon the expression, I often feel like I’m pissing in the wind. 🙁

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Lolsy's Library February 19, 2023 / 11:16 pm

    I’m not America, but I think America is missing the John Mcain type of Republicans. He was the opposition, but he was sensible, most of the time, when it came to doing the right thing for Americans. The “politicians” of today, just want to grand stand.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango February 20, 2023 / 7:45 am

      We need politicians with principles and scruples. Few have them anymore.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Marleen February 20, 2023 / 10:48 am

    I visiting talking, last night, with my son who has become a citizen of New Zealand. He is also the one who had the most intensive football career, as a child. He said he enjoyed how pro-American the beginning of this year’s super bowl was (before the game). [He was happy about the game, itself, too. We talked about that the last time we Skyped.] We discussed some other things, though (not all about the country or politics but some), and by the end I was insulting the founding fathers. When the Supreme Court (even when not dominated by “conservative” picks) has made decisions favoring mammoth corporations over actual people, they were probably being originalists. *Talk me out of it.* We had made improvements in our history, but there are those who don’t want to be a “more perfect” union, or don’t understand how to — even after getting through all the requisite schooling.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Marleen February 20, 2023 / 10:50 am

      Well… that was supposed to start with, “I was visiting, last night…”

      Liked by 3 people

      • Marleen February 28, 2023 / 10:30 pm

        How They Rigged It All: A
        Corporate Law Professor
        Explains (w/ Jon Hanson)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen February 20, 2023 / 2:54 pm

      I’m trying to remember how long ago it was now; 2016? I met a young man running for governor at a bar/restaurant and was open-minded about possibly voting for him. Turned out he was a “Libertarian” (which basically worships money and power and has eaten away at both of the main parties), on a third-party ticket. I was additionally able to observe some of his personal habits and his interactions with the bartender (and me as a friendly “neighbor” and potential constituent). He was kinda a low guy (even if clean cut), I found. When I sat next to him and asked what he wanted to do with the office, the first priority without hesitation was legalize online gambling.

      Gambling Companies Have Totally Corrupted State Governments

      Liked by 3 people

      • Marleen March 18, 2023 / 10:01 am

        I’ve just now noticed that I should clarify what I meant by “eaten away at both of the main parties” — the worshiping of money dominates both parties. (In other words, I’m not making a statement about voting third-party per se. We have been fooled by the flash-bang that either “side” puts out to confuse public opinion while all the elite are basically libertarian, have for the haves.)

        Jon Stewart Shreds Dishonest [Conservative]’s Inflation Lies

        Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen February 20, 2023 / 4:12 pm

      Before I share this, I will add that my closest cousin
      had hospice care help when her wife was dying.
      They didn’t do this terrible stuff; all in-home
      (my cousin-in-law died at home in 2020).

      Fraud in the US Hospice Care System (especial-
      ly the more than half that are [equity] privatized)

      Liked by 2 people

  12. laberrababa February 22, 2023 / 10:51 am

    Being patriotic in Germany carries the risk of being classified as very right-wing.

    Liked by 3 people

      • laberrababa February 22, 2023 / 9:58 pm

        Yes, of course! But that has always been the case. It also has something to do with our past. That’s why people want to avoid patriotism as much as possible.

        Liked by 3 people

  13. willimike February 24, 2023 / 8:31 am

    I can understand the pessimism, where American patriotism is concerned, but if you spend time with most of the people in the Heartland, rural America, you will find the very best , most honest, and hardest working citizens in America. Unfortunately, during elections their votes are diluted by poorly educated urban city dwellers. Sadly the major population centers on the East and West coast’s seem to dominate our national elections, fortunately we still have the electoral college, which act as a small deterrent to overeducated , underqualified candidates for federal offices. The problems with our citizenry is lacking proper American history, and the complete removal of Christian principles from our society. I am not advocating for church to infringe upon state, but America being founded on Judeo-Christian values, where would be the harm in our civil society trying to adhere to the Ten Commandments, regardless of what you call them ?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Marleen February 24, 2023 / 11:39 am

      I can understand the wish that the United States could function under the Ten Commandments, but it’s an idealism without context. I’ll bring up a couple of contexts. For one, the ten only stand as a representation (1) of a larger set of values and instructions or even laws. It occurs to me, now, that they can be considered aspirations or goals — and other ways of living can result in them being largely attained. For example, there is the “commandment” to obey parents. Well, if you have (2) jackassery parents… then what? But if we have the viewpoint that we want our children to be able to trust us so we can instruct them or add advice to their lives, then we live differently.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango February 24, 2023 / 12:21 pm

      I have no quarrel with the people who live in the heartland of America, but I do not agree with most of the rest of your comment. When you say the votes of those in the heartland are diluted by the “poorly educated city dwellers,” that sounds to me like you’re a bit of a racist. You also sing the praises of the electoral college, but that antiquated mechanism actually dilutes the votes of the majority of Americans, who, whether you like it or not, are urban and suburban dwellers.Why shouldn’t the Presidential election be decided, as is every other elected office in this country be decided by popular vote, rather than an over-representation by heartland voters who are in the minority? Twice in this century, the presidential candidate with the most votes lost the election due to the electoral college, which has no place in modern America.

      As to lack of proper American history education, I agree, but why are conservative states like Florida and Texas re-writing American History and literally whitewashing it by eliminating content that might make young, white students feel uncomfortable or guilty?

      No one is promoting the removal of Judeo-Christian principles from society, but designating America to be a Christian nation, and/or to have Christian dogma be the basis of secular law is a step too far. As to the Ten Commandments, six are common sense, but four — the first four, in fact — are aimed at satisfying the egotistical needs of a seemingly insecure, imaginary deity.


      • Marleen February 24, 2023 / 12:46 pm

        Also, if we translate the fifth one as “honor” instead of the word I used, that happens naturally (with little kids) in most circumstances. Is it intended for adults toward the older adults rather?

        Liked by 2 people

    • Marleen February 24, 2023 / 9:59 pm

      This is the test for Christian’s, today. There are other topics and even tests, but this is one they (the great bulk of them) haven’t been willing or able to let hold of. None of the others will matter until then.


      I don’t like the presentation below as well, but it might actually get the point across better. It’s not only about one’s own personal greed that is palpable in luxuries but is found in the continuing political arguing for a system that shovels piles of gold at those who end up like God in this formulation:


      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen February 25, 2023 / 12:38 pm

        I actually noticed the apostrophe popping up in “Christians” and backtracked, last night when posting, to take it out… did take it out. I see the spell checker put it back in (too bad I didn’t triple check last night).

        I started a search, this morning, to find someone I’d viewed in writing — not meaning I agreed with him as I didn’t — in the past due to someone else I was in (online) communication with interacting with him and my awareness that he was influential. I stopped even trying to have something to say about his disseminations after he shared a quotation and pointed out the evil — to him — word “workers.” I could hardly believe my eyes. (The article I found from him is not [although I didn’t scour it to be sure] the one with the idea of a worker denigrated. Additional note: the result was “Not personalized” (based on my activity.)

        I tried several configurations, then finally struck (pyrite) gold:

        ‘pastor blogging about replacement of european’

        Here was the very top hit (and
        who I was trying to remember):

        Thoughts on France… – Pastor Bill Randles Blog – WordPress[dot]com
        May 8, 2017 — The Great Replacement • The Great Replacement, also known as replacement theory or great replacement theory, is a white nationalist far-right …

        {I looked all through what he wrote there and couldn’t find those quoted words of characterization for the theory or the concept of replacement. I eventually did figure out the string of words “The Great Replacement [double return spacing] The Great … far-right …” is a tag on a video from France that is embedded on the “pastor’s” page.

        Curiously, this Bill person says in his article/op (opening post) that he thinks it likely the Europeans who are tired of immigrants with be so thankful to a leader who puts a stop to what bothers them in this regard that they will worship the leader… hence the forewarned and dreaded anti-Christ. And he wants his followers to be politically engaged and angry about immigrants on a religious level? How is that a pastor? Wake up, sleeper.}

        I might share the link for the specific article that was this top hit.
        Here is what was the second listing in the search results:


        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen February 25, 2023 / 1:02 pm

          Bonus: this came up as a suggestion by YouTube after the embedded video was finished worrying about what being french is.

          Hey, the month of March is the month of Francophonie … especially International Francophonie Day on March 20th.

          Is the French Language in Danger from an English invasion?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen February 25, 2023 / 1:09 pm

            And for those panicking that the elites prefer emigrants to white people, let it be known they hate Africans as much as you dispise them. (I’m subscribed to this content creator. This video is only a little over an hour old.)

            Family Sues After Baby Formula Kills Infant

            Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen February 25, 2023 / 10:28 pm

          I’m not giving a link directly to the blog I was describing, but I think I’ve got a link to the YouTube video that was embedded there. 🤞🏻

          Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen March 3, 2023 / 12:57 pm

        I want to respond specifically to
        WILLIMIKE, back from February.
        A piece of conviction or… hooey:

        … but if you spend time with most of the people in the Heartland, rural America, you will find the very best , most honest, and hardest working citizens in America. ~

        I grew up in the heartland. From the time my oldest child was approaching his second birthday, I also spent the years adding and educating my children in the Midwest/heartland (I’ll include a bit of the “border states” in that). It is in that setting that I first learned, the hard way, not to trust my neighbors. Now, I don’t mean I had any trouble getting along with the people on my street and adjacent streets of the subdivision at the outskirts of my suburb. What I mean is that when we set out to apply all that we had put together in life to a new undertaking, I discovered the best ol’ boy singing in the choir — not a choir or church I was familiar with but you’re not being specific either — will take you for whatever he can get and not necessarily apply himself to the task. Mind you, if you thought I shouldn’t have found someone from a suburb, the fella was on past where I was… rural. Then my local small bank colluded with outright theft on behalf of another like the first (when we switched horses so to speak). I therefore obtained a nearby attorney; confided in said attorney. When the lawyer learned there were issues with the bank, you can pretty well guess what he did. He cited conflict of interest, because he preferred representing the bank, and cut off my representation. I don’t see this as something especially horrid going on in the heartland as contrasted with other parts of my country, I just think you’re naive… or whatever.

        I’m including a link for the purpose of my comment here, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Pngmonk February 25, 2023 / 9:57 am

    For me honestly, being patriotic is not about just going on marches and protesting and stuff. But it is more about thinking about your nation and doing good deeds for it. To make it a better place to live in.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango February 25, 2023 / 9:32 pm

      Yes, that’s certainly a part of what patriotism is all about.


    • narainsinha March 5, 2023 / 2:31 am

      For me patriotism is not only thinking about the nation you or your parents were born but to think about the society you are living.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Don Shogren February 27, 2023 / 8:45 pm

    I think nationalism is something to get over, but I’m not unrealistic about how long that may take, nor do I ignore the need for defence.

    Liked by 2 people

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