The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #5462 Message #2709053
Posted By: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
26-Aug-09 - 12:15 PM
Thread Name: Origins: America, The Beautiful
Subject: RE: America, The Beautiful
I have long thought that this song, speaking to our greatest aspirations as a people rather than the grimness of wars endured, might be a better fit as a national anthem.
I believe that true patriotism is an unselfish devotion to the betterment of one's people rather than simply a willingness to bleed and die for them. Samuel Johnson's oft-cited quote that "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" need not apply. False patriotism; that is, self-serving behavior touted as patriotism that is simply politically motivated or for reasons of self-aggrandizement is what needs to go.
But suggestions that America the Beautiful would be more suitable inevitably meet with the objection that the song is too "soft" or that it does not pay sufficient homage to the fallen heroes in our past. I'm a 1960's army veteran, and I have immense respect for those who gave "the last full measure of devotion." Still, I think it would be desirable to move on from dwelling on human sacrifice in favor of the hope and promise of our better nature.