In times of war, the patriotic fervor of the United States increases dramatically. Somehow patriotism holds the people of a country together, but all the while it seems to separate humans across the globe with the idea that supporting one's country means despising the rest. The suggestion that one country ranks the best of all countries promotes a type of monolithic and narrow-minded society that should have disappeared ages ago. However, patriotism does not equal ignorance, people of incredible intellect have believed in their country above all others. It seems that patriotism itself becomes the motivation behind a bigoted humanity when the public takes their ideas of pride and turns them into a proof of greatness and a reason to hate others. Many instances of American history suggest that a patriotic way of life becomes valuable only when the people do not put it into an extremist viewpoint.
For as long as people have had the capacity to feel arrogance, people have fought with others to establish their own superiority.
Samuel Johnson once said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" (3). Although, on several other occasions Johnson spoke of the necessity of loyalty. Patriotism typically involves loyalty, but it focuses so much more on pride than most other aspects. Samuel Johnson suggests that loyalty should come before pride. During the war in Vietnam, some people chose to protest and others chose to support, but all together people truly started questioning what patriotism meant to them:
Debates about the meaning and value of patriotism were as contentious as the war itself. Many of the people wrestled with patriotism's hardest questions: Should love of country be unqualified or conditional? Should it require loyalty to government's policies whatever they are, or welcome dissent based on allegiance to a nation's highest principles?...