I just heard a speech by Commander Wiz Withers where he talked about the true meaning of patriotism. This guys great-great-great-great grandfather fought alongside George Washington in the American Revolution. Another relative fought in the Civil War. His brother defended America in Vietnam, and Wiz Withers himself fought in the Gulf War. This family has paid more than it’s share of the price for the freedom we Americans enjoy, and that’s why I was so excited to hear his speech. In Mental Toughness Training, we talk alot about Middle Class Thinking versus World Class Thinking, and every American I know has strong opinions about our political leaders. Especially since George Bush has been President and invaded Iraq. The masses love to beat up political leaders on both sides of the aisle, and I’m not saying they shouldn’t. But is their thinking more middle class or world class? Commander Wiz Withers has a new blog you should check out if you’re interested in the lessons of military leadership. With five generations of patriots in his family, this gentleman knows what he’s talking about. www.militaryleadershipblog.com As always, I can’t wait to read YOUR comments. ( 4:24 )
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.
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2 thoughts on “American Politicians: Power Freaks or Patriots?”
Glad you enjoyed my comments that day – and I appreciate your feedback.
Occasionally someone will take issue with me when I talk about patriotism – which I like, actually, because it gives me another chance to further explain my position. I follow Webster’s definition of the word: the love of one’s country and the desire to see it succeed. It is not a “my country is better than your country” view. The analogy I use is two guys discussing their wives – they each think their own wife is the best, but they don’t fight about “my wife is better than your wife!”
I’ve worked with my counterparts in navies around the world: British, Australian, Dutch, Portuguese, Norwegian, German, Omani, Indian, Venezuelan, Peruvian, you name it. The folks I worked with were all proud of their countries – we may have competed on the basketball court, but we mutually respected and admired each other. THAT’s patriotism!
I make a big distinction between patriotism and nationalism – which is placing your own country’s welfare, customs, and beliefs above all others. This isn’t just semantics here – there is a huge difference (to me, anyway). Placing it in context with what you talk about: patriotism is based in spirit, while nationalism is based in ego. And jingoism is nationalism taken to an extreme.
I have to admit, though – I never thought of politicians as patriots. You’ve given me cause to reflect on my own beliefs about this – and using my own words to do it!
Thanks for keeping me on track!
Commander, US Navy (Retired)
Have to disagree with you here. Some politicians are patriots but they are in the minority. True patriots formed a great experiment which is now failing miserably. (Consitution is not being upheld, this was what made America what it was). Also, need to be careful about labels here. My perception of a patriot is someone who places his country above others. This not only leads to territorial battles, but it causes numbness to other countries. (When news reports US deaths separate from civilians, etc.) Patriotism is blind and you’re really going to like this – is something NOT worthy of aspiring to. Civilization has evolved in ever enlarging territorial tribes. Nomads, gatherers, tribes, villages, cities, kingdoms, countries and now Global communities with the internet. We are living in one world – we are all human. Geographical labels are dangerous. As are religious labels. People cannot be pigeon holed into a label. Example: I know some ‘Mormons’ who are more liberal than I am – and I operate completely according to my own spiritual guidance. The new order of the day: Being a globalist. Someone who loves his planet.
And the future of government?: An educated global republic with the power to research bills and vote online (cutting out the middle man & corruption, making all transparent.)
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