In an era where totalitarian governments are toppling, the United States federal government is constructing several threats to the foundational liberty our Revolutionary heroes insisted upon. Our congress did not let a terror crisis go to waste where police powers are concerned.
The 'Patriot Act' of October 26, 2001 was a rushed effort by Jim Sensenbrenner, on behalf of the GW Bush administration. The nation had just sustained it's worst terror attack ever, on September 11th.
Sensenbrenner's bill robbed private citizens and commerce of many foundational and constitutional protections. It was called; "the Patriot Act" so that anyone who voted against it would be implying that he's not patriotic.
If patriotism means 'loyalty to the government', why do our history books distinguish the revolutionary patriots of the revolution from the loyalists to the crown?
What patriotism is NOT:
This was true during the American revolution. But what made that event more difficult was that the 13 separate colonies were each formed around it's unique identity. Often that identity was found in the colony's dominant faith or denomination. Those 13 colonies formed a commonwealth of 13 individual sovereign states. For more than 10 years after the famous declaration of independence, the colonies were commonwealths in a loose confederacy. They greatly objected to being forced into a federation. That's why the 1787 constitution failed to be adopted until the 10 demands of the common people were agreed to.
Expansion without Alienation: How long and how big.
The USA survived a massive growth and mutation of the federal government. The nation survived slavery, transcontinental growth, and a population explosion. And economic collapse.
Today the 50 states are more divided than any time in the past 150 years. We spent our children and grandchildren into a debtor's prison from our massive borrowing so we can live better than our productivity warrants. Our culture is at war, not over ethnicity but ideology. We've become mobile and we take our east coast values to the south and our midwest values to the west coast. Then we feel alienated and hostile toward our new neighbors.
It's getting to where many Americans won't move to certain areas of the 50 states precisely because of the alienation of values and culture.
I used to fly the flag of the USA at my front door. A few years ago I switched and started flying the Oklahoma flag, instead. I think that says something about how I identify myself.