1. By true definition, the idea of caring enough about your country to criticize it.
2. Caring enough about one's country to be outraged at the utter violation of civil rights perpetrated by the government.
3. A concept used by right-wing fundamentalists to justify their egregious civil liberties violations and war-mongering nature.
The only true patriots are the liberals who CARE about the people in this country.
by Mikey G October 09, 2003
In theory:
Patriotism is a feeling of pride and love for one's country. Common acts of patriotism include erecting a flag of one's country in the home or yard, decorating one's car with as many flags as possible, and singing national tunes!

Criticism:
However, a deeper look into the "patriotic" mentality reveals something more complex and disturbing then the aforementioned phenomena. Why should anyone feel the need to exalt his own country over another? What is so special about his country that makes it so that he is "proud to be a (insert random nationality here)"? And what exactly is he proud of? Is patriotism being proud of one's heritage? If this is the case, then there should be no need to masquerade symbols of pride, for that is just arrogance! It is analogous to a situation where a man is very proud of his personal accomplishments. The man constantly walks around singing about his accomplishments, wearing clothing representing his accomplishments, and even writing books about his accomplishments! Is this not arrogance? Is this necessary? Rather, the man should be inwardly happy about his personal accomplishments, but should carry on with his business without boasting. Just as, in any country, a person should not become "patriotic," but should rather hold an inward respect for his country, equal to his respect for other countries. Because aren't all men created equal? And accordingly, culture, a creation of man, and religion, though somewhat more dubiously, a creation of man, are all equal. And there is no need for the exaltation of any particular nationality in any way, shape, or form.

In reality:
Patriotism is perhaps THE single most effective political tool (though arguably less than religion). This concept of patriotism, of being proud of one's country, is used to control and condition the opinions of the general masses. For just one example of many, consider this:
Sympathizing with a little Iraqi child whose entire family was killed during the US invasion is unpatriotic. And if not unpatriotic, it is at least unimportant compared to the death of a US soldier, because God knows that American lives are more important than any other life!
Politicians will use patriotism to breed resentment to other races and nationalities, and to justify certain actions that otherwise would not be tolerated. It is important to understand that patriotism is also frequently used to "bind" a person to his country, and in doing so, stifle dissent, and make it generally unacceptable. Basically patriotism is a tool to make the general populace have a single opinion that is supplementary to the actions (or future actions) of the politicans in power at the time.
Let's be individuals! Let's not be sheep to be herded by the shephard that is "patriotism"!
by For The People August 07, 2004
to be proud of your country because you are too stupid to accomplish anything yourself
Patriotism- 'MURICA FUCK YEA
by WhyTheFuckDoINeedAPseudonym February 04, 2012
The belief that your country is better than everyone elses because you were born there.
Person from Iraq: I have patriotism, go Iraq, fuck America!
Person from America: God bless America, nuke em!
by Ptowner May 02, 2006
bleeding- or dying to defend our GOD GIVEN RIGHTS of free expression, freedom to worship GOD, freedom to own property, freedom from government meddling, freedom to life from conception to natural death, freedom to remain silent when accused, freedom of innocence until proven otherwise, freedom of association, freedom of DISassociation
patriotism is the willingness to give of one's self completely for others to experience the awesomeness of America under God
by IBleedForCountry July 31, 2011
loving your country, yet attempting to fix its faults -- instead of glossing over the unsavory parts.
patriotism is not following Bush and Cheney blindly into war. patriotism is hoping to remove their kind from office, to better America and strengthen civil liberties.

"We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, conservatives love America the way a four-year-old loves her mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a four-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow."

-- al franken, lies and the lying liars that tell them
by amazingly June 12, 2006
I love my country, but I fear my government.
Pat-RIOT-ism
by Politricks November 06, 2003
A love or pride for one's country. Popularly assumed to be the same thing as hyperpatriotism, nationalism, and chauvunism, especially by prejudiced (and quite hypocritical) anti-American Urban Dictionary contributors. For reference, note the other definitions on this word for some "witty" anti-American attemps to belittle the people of the United States.

Patriotism in its true form is merely a pride for being a citizen of one's country. A patriot DOES NOT live by the idea that his country's people are superior than others. True patriots, depsite popular belief, do not believe the government is always right, either. Such people are known as meatheads.

For further information on related terms, see nationalism, prejudice, meathead, hypocritical patriotism, hyperpatriotism and chauvunism.
"To announce that there must be no criticsm of the president, or that was are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but it's morally treasonable to the American public." ~Teddy Roosevelt (1918)
by The Infamous Trev-MUN February 25, 2004

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