July 4, 2017:
I was born twenty minutes from the border of a third-world country.
At night if you climbed a hill you could see exactly where our country stopped. There was a straight line of streetlights and houselights and automobile lights running east-west, from the sea as far inland as you could see. Those lights were America. The darkness beyond was not.
I've always been a patriot. To me, that doesn't mean following the government uncritically. It means loyalty to the best interests of the American people. Which, not infrequently, happen to be everybody else's best interests too.
I've often wondered if growing up so close to another country shaped this point of view. Where you could viscerally experience the commonality of the humans born on either side of a line which had been historically determined by violence.
Aren't we all the same? Don't we all need the same things?
I believe that true patriotism can be broad enough and generous enough to want what's best for the people of all countries.