We asked readers for their thoughts on patriotism in the wake of Donald Trumps law and order speech to the Republican convention. Here are your responses
We asked you for your thoughts on the matter whether you identify as a patriot, what it means, and how your beliefs translate into actions in your everyday life.
Your answers are below.
Michael Bain, 58, ranch manager, New Mexico
Patriotism takes hard, thoughtful, informed, dedicated, humble, steady work.
Patriotism means supporting and being responsible for your family, your community and all levels of government with your willingness to work, to volunteer, to pay your share of taxes and pay with your life if need be.
It means the majority rules, but the majority protects the rights of the minority. It means respecting your neighbors opinion, but not letting yourself be run over by it.
It means thinking for yourself, but also seriously working to educate yourself. To be patriotic, you need to learn and understand where the biases in information you receive are coming from. Is the information objective, or captured by special interests on the left or right, or in between?
I volunteer, I pay my taxes without griping, I vote, I obey the law. I read something of real intellectual value everyday generally in economics, finance or ecology (and I am no intellectual nor academic).
I do not wear my patriotism on my shoulder wrapped in a flag, nor do I run around with a gun (although I own several), but I try to practice patriotism honestly, knowledgeably and quietly every day.
Jacob C, 26, office worker, California
I think Jon Stewart is wrong. I think conservatives do own patriotism, at least in its contemporary manifestation. When I think of a self-described patriot, I imagine a loud, belligerent man who drives an oversized pick-up truck complete with both an American flag and a Dont Tread on Me flying from poles mounted in the flatbed; this man responds to any dissenting opinion about America being No 1 with the phrase Love it or leave it! and occasionally sports a tricorn at political rallies.
Hence why I would never self-identify in terms of patriotism.
Benjamin Pollack, 31, stay-at-home husband with a disability, Oregon
Patriotism means standing up for views contrary to my own, and for people unlike myself, because diversity is the greatest American characteristic. From the earliest days of the republic, we have been a nation as varied politically as we are geographically. Losing sight of that richness and complexity threatens to undermine the very essence of our national character.
Patriotism means never letting go of the multiculturalism that informed the birth of this great country, and showing up to dutifully stand in the face of tyranny in any form.