Love and Hate of Country

What does it even mean to “love your county“? Certainly, not romantic love, nor familial love in the strict sense. Surely it is deeper than celebrating a piece of art or rejoicing over a sporting event, though for some people at some times, both can surely reflect a deep, love. But a country is so much more than a piece of art or sibling. What does it truly mean to say you love or hate an entire country?

Putting aside the ancient philosophical question defining love and hate, accept Oxford’s symmetric definitions that these are intense feeling of affection or dislike. But what of “country”. Are we referring to the borders or the land within? To the government and the legal representatives of the people within those borders? To the people themselves, and if so, which subdivisions of the population? Or is the country’s history, it’s government’s deeds and people’s accomplishment, our focus? Does a country stand for something greater than itself? Humans are not so simple that one feeling could accurately reflect a country’s complexity and the full range of the feelings they hold towards a country, let alone the country of their birth.

Asserting that another person does or doesn’t not love our country is not merely offensive or hateful. It’s lazy. It’s cowardly. It shows us that the speaker will treat his audience like small children and recite fairy tales he knows to be false. Tales that dress the knight in white and the witch in black. Where the hero is fair and strong jawed, while the enemy some female, homo, swarthy corruption. Tales that strip us of our humanity by denying conflicting emotions or complex histories. Tales adults might yearn for but recognize as poor reflections of our actual country. Tales we tell, but know to be incomplete.

Unless, the speaker believes the fairy tales himself. In which case, why listen to him for anything besides entertainment?

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