Is there such a thing as being too patriotic? Kim Jong-un would answer that with a resounding “no”, but the question is a bit more tricky with Americans.
Which brings us to ‘Jingoism’. What the hell is Jingoism? Jingoism is an extreme form of nationalism often marked by supporting war-like foreign policy.
An example of a jingoist would be someone who, despite a General, Secretary of Defense, or Geneva conference, advising against, or prohibiting certain types of military intervention, would support war or acts of aggression anyway.
Moreover, a jingoist is someone who is likely to unconditionally support the actions of his or her government because they feel it’s a representation of their country and it would be patriotic to do so.
When people think about the cultural and political atmosphere of America in the 1960s, they’re likely to talk about the Vietnam war protests and the ‘flower power’ generation.
Because that imagery has been so ingrained in media, movies, music etc. some people wouldn’t believe you when you told them that there was actually a ‘pro Vietnam war’ facet as well.
There were some Americans who marched against the anti-war movement, carrying signs like “Love it or Leave it” and “Let’s Demand Victory in Vietnam.”
There were also people who espoused that they wanted to bomb Hanoi or pull the U.S. troops and then just flat out nuke Vietnam. (Which according to Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst and Marine in Vietnam, almost happened. )
No action was too extreme for a jingoist, as long as those actions were consistent with their brand of nationalism.
On a social level, jingoists tend to be hostile towards anyone who even slightly deviates from hardcore nationalism.
The problem with jingoism (other than the obvious) is that it actually contradicts what America stands for; liberal democracy, a constitutional republic and a responsibility to question political leaders.
America is about the spirit of rebellion, the preservation of individual liberty and a sense of democracy, protest and dissent.
There’s nothing wrong with loving your country and having a sense of patriotism, but if a person possesses an extreme, belligerent level of patriotism, or jingoism, they become in diametric opposition to the ideals of America.
I say with confidence that jingoism is anti-American.