We need to reclaim patriotism and our concern for public goods. Volunteer in your community; make it better! Look at what HAS or CAN be done positively! Don’t waste time with what HASN’T been done. We have no time to waste. The choice is Democracy or not.

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'How do you think patriotism can be made central to Democratic messaging that can mobilize millions to vote & help save our democracy?'

2) Redefine patriotism through behaviors (elevating diversity); and with help from the Arts (music, murals, cartoons/ graphics) which reach people subconsciously. (the GOP does it, so should we counter, in a way of Truth).

Patriotism to me, now should be:

- Being together, like in the posted photo for today which displays fellowship and enjoyment with all peoples

- Squashing bully-ism (this will also save lives in many ways & reduce lone-wolf shootings)

- Being spooked --- into awareness (being more constantly aware of what is happening in elections and with candidates, being actively aware, not asleep-at-the-wheel). Democracy is work.

- Celebrating the glory of diversity --- and how we benefit as a society (never ate a taco as a kid, now love Mexican cuisine... twice weekly

- Being kind --- Golden Rule, America, remember that rule?

- Being outgoing --- welcoming others, listening to others, validating the existence of all (anti-bullying strategies)

- Being honest and truthfulness as an honorable trait (remember those days from yore)

- Being humane to all

- Being brave for others

- Safe-guarding our institutions, and people.

Patriotism is an invisible spirit of fellowship and goodwill.

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'How do you think patriotism can be made central to Democratic messaging that can mobilize millions to vote & help save our democracy?'

1) I believe as Ruth has suggested the power of a large nationwide March, such as the Women's March (January 21, 2017), the largest single day of protest in American history* *Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, author Resistance: How Women Saved Democracy from Donald Trump

The problem appears to no one is taking up this banner. There are now so many pro-democracy groups with defined missions -- that no one is linking hands, to drop their (rightful) agendas for the next couple months and knit together a larger community to march/ protest.

I talked to a woman at one large organization with good backing and she is confident that the Roe decision and recent gun violence will propel women to vote in droves. I am not as confident.

Also a march/ protest serves to energize and spread hope to the populace at large, while pumping up the commitment to get out and vote. There are no-takers on this march/ protest idea --- which I don't get. It seems we are stuck in the 'Edelweiss moment' --- so shocked and stunned that we are not moving off the tracks before the train hits us.

Any ideas?

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I'm a visual artist living in a conservative neighborhood in Queens NY. I have been noticing the signage in my neighborhood- a lot of enforcer stickers and 'thin blue line' American flag stickers on cars. Larger flags that people wave in front of their homes tend to be traditional red white and blue ones. Lately I have been noticing a lot of small black and white American flags, also mostly stickers on cars and I am unclear on what these symbolize specifically, but they certainly seem to be a right-wing adaptation of the flag. Meanwhile my more left leaning neighbors might have Black Lives Matter signs or the 'We Believe.....' signs in front of their homes. One basic thing that stands out to me is the abundance of text used by the left and the lack of words used by the right. On a larger scale I have the sense that the presentation of and discourse within conservative culture (for average Americans rather than politicians) is more feelings based, while the presentation of and discourse within liberal culture is really focused on rational thought. I think if we want to re-frame the culture of the left we need to incorporate more feelings, while still retaining the rational thought. I think one first step to reclaiming patriotism on the left would be to embrace symbols rather than text in our signage, and to incorporate the American flag, or perhaps just the red white and blue colors into that symbolism. The b&w flags to me suggest somekind of desire to present masculine force- as though any color would be too flowery. I think maybe we have an opportunity to reclaim the red, white and blue colors and that if we incorporate symbols representing unity, love, community and a general togetherness into our visual patriotism, perhaps this could appeal to the left.

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Patriotism = Service; for progressives, I think the reclaiming patriotism to be serving your local community, “small town America”. Run for city hall, organize unions, lead voter registrations, and most importantly, keep trying.

Disconnecting from this world leads to conmen and fraud taking its place in your town. Most of the time all we have to do is show up.

Second: reclaim communion from the church. Communion is the guiding principle Jesus advocated for: come together, eat, and be human with one another for a night every so often.

In that way, I think communion and service can be reclaimed. We are serving our communities just by the act of bringing people together regularly.

Finally: detach neurotic perfectionism from progressive talking points. A lot of progressive thought involves classification and judgement. Granted it’s often earned these day, but we don’t acknowledge the damage it does within the progressive group itself. Progressives don’t vote because they are terrified of being “wrong” in a committed way.

It’s obvious to everyone that the damage from this paralysis means actual evil takes their place. It’s ok to want a communist, and it’s ok to want liberal capitalism, and it’s ok to be duped or not fully informed about your vote before hand. Just keep voting, that we will make mistakes is the whole point of voting and democracy in the first place.

Its alright to not love your choices, and it’s alright to ask for better. What we have here that really makes America great: that we get to hash this out again and again and again. There is no right answer except the furtherance of our vote.

Liberal defeatism so 2016. I the obvious criticisms are so tired and overplayed. We have so much power at our disposal, it’s our duty to wield it.

The national parks are still here and still beautiful, even though they’re changing. It’s ok to feel sad at change.

Our collective education level is the greatest ever in history. We’re clever as hell, and it’s only going to improve.

We’re innovative, even if it’s via capitalism. Systemic exploitation by definition is something individuals cannot change; so it’s ok to take pride in your work, while leaving room for acknowledging those who came before you, guiding your path to glory.

We’re ambitious--Elon musk is a tool but ignore him: thousands of people came together and are responsible for taking us back into space. That’s not a business victory, that’s an American one, and a Human one.

Fossil fuels are burning the world sure, but you know why? We’re using so much power to do so much incredible stuff at the same time, and it shows.

Look at how scared reactionaries are at their dying philosophies! They had to overthrow the government itself or risk death!

Our progressive ideas are so potent, simply exposing people them almost always brings them to our side. Think about how much money Fox and co spend to create a literal alternate universe just to shelter away their people from our ideas.

It’s time to embrace who we already know we are: the future of our country and of our minds. Fascist conservatives want to destroy us because they see their impending death and it terrifies them.

Take pride in that power. Let’s become who we were destined to be. Let’s step into the parts we were meant to play, take the lead once more, and make America great again for ourselves and for our democracy.

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Roget's Thesaurus lists "patriot" under the heading of Philanthropy. Words like public spirit, generosity, humane and large-hearted are the associations made there. Dictionaries introduce the concept of "zeal" into the definiton. Soon we are into zealous support of our country versus other countries - nationalism. USA! USA!

However, dictionaries also have the word "patrioteer": "An ostentatiously and voubly (a great flow of words) patriotic person, who makes a career of patriotism for his own benefit." Don't we need to start using that word, tie it to "profiteer" and zealous, and huge flags with spearheads on the bottom of the staff trying for an insurrection? *

We need some word to call out phony patriotism. To start taking the wind out of their oversized flags, Confederate flags, and flapping tongues. Perhaps "phony" is a start. - Rich Adams

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Great insights on effective messaging by Mary Trump and guests on her July 5 show, featuring Wajahat Ali, Dahlia Lithwick, Kurt Bardella; sorry that I’m not tech-savvy enough to give you the link here …. on YouTube …. re-inforces and expands on many of the great insights offered by Lucidites here today …. hoping Ruth forgives us for taking a year to get onboard, so enthusiastically, with this discussion she presciently introduced a year ago!!

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Read every book from the public education banned list. Host a summer reading camp or zoom pod for school children. Or lead a local post card writing campaign for young children and send towards non-registered young eligible voters. The power of these children is an untapped resource that can actually help save democracy.

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American Patriotism is not waving a flag, it is not reciting a pledge, it is not rooting for the US in the Olympics. That's tribalism.

Patriotism isn't signing up to fight and kill other humans for corporate greed and MIC profit.

Patriotism isn't voting for a traitor.

Patriotism isn't falling for and repeating and disseminating other's lies.

Patriotism isn't supporting evil leaders it is standing up to them.

Want to be an American patriot? Represent it better. Don't embarass the country or create enemies by your words or deeds.

Treat your fellow Americans equally.

We are not divided by caste or royalty.

Don't pollute our land and waterways.

Don't burden society with your problems of your own making.

A patriot would work for a solution to our societal problems. Improve the country. Do not seek to improve things only for your benefit.

Vote for the greater good. Not the greater liar.

America has a goal nor yet realized. Freedom and equality for all.

A patriot should understand that working toward that goal makes one an American Patriot.

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Continued immigration is the lifeblood of America.

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A year ago, The Week had a chilling account of a podcast in which one of Trump's former advisers lays out his plan for a post-2024 Trump Presidency:: disabling the press and creating an app that would mobilize an armed group of Trump supporters to the doorstep of all who disagree with Trump. https://theweek.com/politics/1003035/the-far-right-contemplates-an-american-caesar

It is against this backdrop that it is imperative that we as liberals reclaim the word "patriotism" before it is too late. Research has shown that the best way for liberals to gain the trust of moderates and to conservatives is, unsuprisingly, to talk in ways they feel comfortable with. The idea of patriotism is very compelling to large swaths of people, and, compared to Trump's dystopian vision for our future, we liberals are incredible lovers of our country. Why do we shy from the word patriotism to describe our passions for each other and the promise of our country?

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The radical right have squatted on the most confrontational symbols from American history, including the Gadsden Flag. We need to counter that by squatting on as many symbols of American nationhood that show us to be the true heirs of the American legacy. You might have seen a YouGov poll out last week that showed the two most popular flags are the current iteration of Old Glory and the Betsy Ross Revolutionary War flag. Let's claim the Betsy Ross flag, for starters, but don't stop there. Associate the Bennington Flag, the "Appeal to Heaven" flag, "Don't Give Up the Ship" and every other banner and symbol such as the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, and more. Don't let the right claim those things. Make those banners and symbols regular presences at protests in support of the rights of women, bodily autonomy, and in the defense of people of color and LGBTQ folk.

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My idea would be to flood the zone with diversity - in ads, billboards, music anything to highlight, celebrate the grand patchwork of our diverse quilt -- and how our society is richer because of all that has been mixed in because of this diversity. This would 1) energize newer voters or those that need to register by recognizing and validating them as members of our American family. 2) it floods the zone with truth/ reality.

I am re-energized in my democracy work when I am working out on the treadmill, watching TV and see all the diversity. The less White, the more I am energized. I have spoken to a former Trumper and their take is that it is fake/ forced, and I respond that this is world we actually live in.

3) we have to be ready to step-in quickly to speak up for our brothers and sisters of color when they are backhandedly insulted or put down. In the past week, 2 separate occasions I saw middle-age White people insult/ put-down young people of Color. Each time, I was sure to step in to support the young teen of Color and indirectly make sure the White person knew 'I knew' what they had done -- in other words they were acting in a vaccum with their badness. I didn't have say much at all, I just focused positive support to the young person of Color. At the end of the week, reflecting on this, I can't believe the bad behavior of Whites. (I am white). White people are nasty. Not all, but some need to be called out by other Whites, I believe.

My idea is flood the zone with diversity --- highlight ethnic music, cooking, entertainers --- that is what makes America the greatest nation.

White people need to remember they were immigrants once too. Don't be so selfish White people. You don't wear it well. (reverse racism?)

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Abe Lincoln, FDR, ML King -- all fought to make American something we can and should be proud of. That we think it can and must be better doesn't mean we aren't proud of what it is, and what it stands for: freedom, equal rights for all, equal opportunities. We want those for all of us, and we raise high the memories of those who've brought us a good distance toward that.

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Ruth Thank you for sharing the picture. Brings back memories alongside the essay which is food for thought.

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As Ruth likes to remind us, more than half of the world's population is under the control of an autocratic male. We don't want our country to end up like Russia, for example, where seemingly everything and everyone exists for the benefit of a dictatorial Strongman with a narrow view of what's good for Humankind and of the Earth. The dangers of such an existence have already been clearly shown to us. True freedom is for those who support a diversity of ideas and an inclusion of multiple cultures. Not just the freedom to purchase and misuse 400 million guns. Mass shootings over our own country's birthday last weekend show there's still much work to be done.

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