This file is about Patriotism and Politics.
Also see Fourth of July (includes things about the Flag), Military, Peace, Political Humor, and 9-11.


Theodore Roosevelt on Patriotism

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country.

Franklin Roosevelt on Patriotism

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.


See Independent's Day, Last Call, The Red, (White,) and Blue and other poems by Del 'Abe' Jones.

Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants

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 person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American . . . There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag . . . We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language . . . and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people. (1907)


The Power of One Vote

Songs about Elections

I am an American

(D. Ault)

I owe you no apologies nor will I accept
those apologies made for me by others.

If you dislike me -- you dislike me not for what I
am but for what you are not. By my own sweat,
I have created a lifestyle which I desire for all men.

To the world I have shared my wealth and given my
blood, not because of obligation -- but by my own
free will. I have fed the hungry of the world. Many
bit my hand; I used the other hand.

I defeated my enemies in battle, then pulled them
up from the ashes of defeat. Once strong, they
again attacked; I turned the other cheek. Though
I am strong, I have never used my strength to rule
others. But do not misjudge me, I will not allow the
fear of my own strength to become my weakness.

If you wish to rise, I will give you a helping hand.
But by the grace of God, and I'll first be damned,
If I'll let you drag me down so that we may be equal.

The Lady

I wonder what she thought
As she stood there, strong and tall.
She couldn't turn away,
She was forced to watch it all.

Did she long to offer comfort
As her country bled?
With her arm forever frozen
High above her head.

She could not shield her eyes
She could not hide her face
She just stared across the water
Keeping Freedom's place.

The smell of smoke and terror
Somehow reduced her size
So small within the harbor
But still we recognized . . .

How dignified and beautiful
On a day so many died
I wonder what she thought,
And I know she must have cried.

ABC's of Patriotism

A - Always Ready, American, America the Beautiful, Army, Air Force, airborne, armistice, admiral, Annapolis, artillery, at ease, attention, armor, allegiance, amber waves of grain, apple pie, Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas
B - brave, best, beret, barracks, brigade, battle, bars, braid, bold, beautiful, bill of rights, baseball, Brooklyn Bridge, brotherhood, Boy Scouts
C - Coast Guard, courage, carrier, constitution, captain, corporal, colonel, cavalry, carrier, camouflage, commander, corps, can do, congress, Columbus, California, Colorado, Connecticut
D - dawn's early light, destroyer, duty, destroyer, defend, democracy, Delaware, District of Columbia, Dixie, due process
E - eagle, enlist, equality, ensign, enduring, ethical, elections, economy, enforce
F - freedom, Fourth of July, fireworks, flag, fighter, Fort Benning, free speech, Florida
G - ground zero, glory, grateful, guard, gallantly gleaming, general, gunnery, grand old flag, God Bless America, Green Berets, Georgia, Grand Canyon, government, Gettysburg, Girl Scouts, governor
H - helicopter, home, hero, helmet, honors, hum-v, happiness, homeland security, human rights, house of representatives
I - independence, infantry, indivisible, insignia, integrity, inspection, inauguration, inventive, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, inspirational
J - jet, justice, JAG, judicial system, jury
K - kit, Kilroy, khaki, k-rations, kindness, kinship, keeper of peace, Kansas, Kentucky
L - land of the free, let freedom ring, liberty, loyal(ty), lieutenant, laws, Louisiana
M - military, marines, Memorial Day, major, midshipman, march, MRE, mountains majesty, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Mount Rushmore, medal of honor
N - Navy, NCO, nautical, National Guard, Normandy, nations, noble, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota
O - operations, One Nation, Old Glory, orders, office, Olympics, opportunity, Ohio, Oklahoma
P - paratrooper, parachute, patriot, president, pentagon, private, protect, pride, Pledge of Allegiance, platoon, patrol, parade, Pearl Harbor, proud, prosperity, peace, Philadelphia, Picturesque, Politics, Pennsylvania, Pilgrims, Purple Heart
Q - Quantico, quality of life, quiet dignity
R - rebel, ranger, rank, reveille, rifle, reserves, rations, rights, republic, red, white & blue, respect, representation, Rhode Island
S - soldier, seals, sailor, ship, stars & stripes, sergeant, salute, SAC, squad, submarine, stripes, stars, salute, September 11, security, Seabees, special forces, Star Spangled Banner, sea to shining sea, spacious skies, supreme court, Senate, South Carolina, South Dakota, statue of Liberty
T - troops, terrorism, territory, tour, tradition, taps, tank, tranquility, Thanksgiving, thankful, Tennessee, Texas
U - uniform, United States, unity, Utah, union, U.S.A., united, under God, Uncle Sam
V - victory, veteran, valor, victorious, vigilant, Vermont, volunteers, voting
W - weapons, West Point, WAC, We the People, world leaders, White House, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wyoming, Wisconsin, wild west, World Trade Center
X - x-cellence, x-ceptional, eXtraordinary, X-pansive (characterized by richness, abundance, or magnificence)
Y - Yankee, Yankee Doodle
Z - zealous, zero tolerance, amaZing

Also use state names, presidents names, etc.


As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.

As we carried each other down the
stairs of the burning building,
We became one class.

As we lit candles of waiting and hope,
We became one generation.

As the firefighters and police officers
fought their way into the inferno,
We became one gender.

As we fell to our knees
in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.

As we whispered or shouted
words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.

As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.

As we mourned together the great loss,
We became one family.

As we cried tears of grief and loss,
We became one soul.

As we retell with pride of
the sacrifice of heroes,
We become one people.

We are:
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people

We are the Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.

High treason

(José Emilio Pacheco)

I do not love my country. Its abstract splendor
is beyond my grasp.
But (although it sounds bad) I would give my life
for ten places in it, for certain people,
seaports, pinewoods, fortresses,
a run-down city, gray, grotesque,
various figures from its history
(and three or four rivers).

A Patriot

How old is a patriot?
Just as old as you.
If in all things you will be
Brave and fair and true.

Who can be a patriot?
Any child can try
For Truth and Strength and Self-control
Make heroes by and by.

Lesson Learned

(Leonard Pitts, Jr., 12 Sep 2001)

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed. Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause. Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve. Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together . . . So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started. But you're about to learn.

What Does Columbine Say About Us?

Bob Lonsberry wrote a wonderful column shortly after the shooting in Columbine in 1999. He pointed out all the wonderful, heroic things that were done by ordinary people at the time of the tragedy. The point of the column was that if we blame ourselves and society for the shooting we also have to take the credit for the good things that were done.

Thomas Jefferson

(Steven and Rosemary Benet)

Thomas Jefferson
What do you say
Under the gravestone
Hidden away?

"I was a giver,
I was a molder,
I was a builder,
With a strong shoulder."

Six feet and over
Large-boned and ruddy,
The eyes gray-hazel
But bright with study.

The big hands clever
With pen and fiddle
And ready, ever
For any riddle.

From buying empires
To planting 'taters,
From Declarations
To trick dumb-waiters.

"I liked the people,
The sweat and crowd of them,
Trusted them always
And spoke aloud of them.

"I liked all learning
And wished to share it
Abroad like pollen
For all who had merit.

"I liked fine houses
With Greek pilasters
And built them surely
My touch a master's.

"I liked queer gadgets
And secret shelves,
And helping nations
To rule themselves.

"Jealous of others?
Not always candid?
But huge of vision
And open-handed.

"A wild-goose chaser?
Now and again,
Build Monticello,
You little men!

"Design my plow, sirs,
They use it still,
Or found my college
At Charlottesville.

"And still go questing
New things and thinkers,
And keep us busy
As twenty tinkers.

"While always guarding
The people's freedom . . .
You need more hands, sir?
I didn't need 'em.

"They call you rascal?
They called me worse.
You'd do grand things, sir,
But lack the purse?

"I got no riches.
I died a debtor.
I died free-hearted
And that was better.

"For life was freakish
But life was fervent,
And I was always
Life's willing servant.

"Life's too weighty?
Too long a haul, sir?
I lived past eighty.
I liked it all, sir."

Political Trivia

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th - John Hancock and Charles Thompson. Most of the rest signed on August 2nd, but the last person signed five years later.