written by Michael E. Arth in 1971 during the Vietnam War era
when patriotism was being used as a weapon against those critical
of government policies.
Love It or Leave It?
By MICHAEL ARTH
Love It or Leave It," demands the bumper sticker. Along with
the American flag decals this kind of chauvinism is becoming increasingly
the flag is a good declaration of a person's love for his country.
This love also includes the love of freedom and democracy which
exists (in probably the most attractive containers) here in these
democracy includes and has room for the dissidence and the dissatisfaction
that exists within its borders. Constructive criticism effects the
changes that correspond with the changing times. The changes bring
our democracy up to date, keep it current and improve it. A government
without change and one that stifles change cannot survive.
UNITED STATES, a country of minorities, each proud and tenacious
of its heritage, will not function if these minorities are forced
into a set mode of thought.
is every man's right to like or dislike the country of his residence.
It is in a free society, however, that a man can exercise his right
of free speech, thereby letting him see himself, his neighbors,
and the country in an objective light. This light is the basis of
democracy. It is the reason that the country is not a Fascist, military
does this simple line, "love it or leave it," mean? Surely
it doesn't dare mean that the United States is intolerant of change.
IT MEANS SOME PEOPLE feel threatened by some of the more exuberant
promoters of reform, some that call for anarchy and revolution.
This is quite understandable, and there has NEVER been a generation
fearless of change.
like language, technology and fashion, all succumb to the perpetually
changing times. All lovers of America should work and give their
support to the TYPES of change they prefer. An overreaction to anything
always causes imbalance elsewhere. Overreactions like "love
it or leave it" can turn many people against the policies of
American capitalism when well-meaning patriots thoughtlessly speak
undemocratic utterances. Be patriotic, not nationalistic.
IS INEVITABLE and everyone has to "flow with it" or be
left stranded in the past.
different and more suitable bumper sticker should be proposed. Perhaps,
"America: Love It and Work With It."