Channel Your Inner Patriot

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As we marked Independence Day last week with the country mired in political turmoil, it is challenging to celebrate an America that has strayed so far from the ideals on which it was founded. That the new national language is outrage, anger and division, it's more important than ever to think about what it means to be patriotic and to harness the powers that our country's founders bestowed on us when the United States of America was born.

Patriotism is not blind loyalty to one's country. It's not just waving a flag and shooting off fireworks and wearing star-spangled fashion. Patriotism is a commitment to upholding and protecting the America that was created by our founding fathers. The America that holds the truths that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ALL are equal. All are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ALL. 

In that vein, we've put together our favorite definitions of patriotism. We hope it inspires you and reminds you of the greatness that we, as Americans, are capable of. Channel your inner patriot!

"Other nations had evolved one way or another: evolved from tribes, from a gathering of the clans, from inevitabilities of language and tradition and geography. But America was born—and born of ideas: that all men are created equal, that they have been given by God certain rights that can be taken from them by no man, and that those rights combine to create a thing called freedom. They were free to pursue happiness, free to worship God, free to talk and speak in public of their views, and to chose their leaders. "

- Peggy Noonan

"You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it."

- Malcolm X

"Freedom is never granted. It is earned by each generation … in the face of tyranny, cruelty, oppression, extremism, sometimes there is only one choice. When the world looks to America, America looks to you, and you never let her down." 

— Hillary Clinton

"Patriotism is love of country. But you can't love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen. We don't always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good. "

- Cory Booker

"A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom."

— Ruth Bader Ginsburg

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

- Mark Twain

"The magic of America is that we're a free and open society with a mixed population. Part of our security is our freedom." 

— Madeleine Albright

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."

- Harry S Truman

"We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what's in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense."

 - Barack Obama

"The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion — it is an idea — and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things." 

— Condoleezza Rice

"Fighting corruption is not just good governance. It's self-defense. It's patriotism."

- Joe Biden

"I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose."

- John F Kennedy

Emily Davis