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July 1st, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Do you feel as patriotic as you used to?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: THINKSTOCK)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

On July 4, 1776, our nation's founders approved the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia and the greatest nation in the history of mankind was born.

Flash ahead and that nation is struggling as she gets ready to celebrate her 234th birthday.

Two wars, a deep and protracted recession, and a loss of confidence in our government to function in our best interests have dampened our spirits. Most of us don't approve of the job our government is doing, and many of us don't even like the people who represent us.

Almost 10 percent of us can't find a job and many more of us work just part time or have given up looking for work altogether. We are overrun with millions of illegal aliens, and our government refuses to seal our borders or for that matter even address the issue. Except to threaten to sue a state like Arizona, which is struggling to cope with the presence of 460,000 illegal aliens and was forced to pass its own law to try to cope.

The country is $13 trillion in debt. States are broke and cities and towns are slashing programs right and left. It's a telling sign that this Fourth of July more and more places are canceling the fireworks celebrations that have marked our independence forever. Places like Glendale, Arizona, Jersey City, and Springfield, Missouri, don't have the money to throw a birthday party for our country this year.

I don't know about you, but as our nation's birthday approaches, I don't feel much like celebrating. I worry about our children and grandchildren, about our senior citizens who can no longer afford to retire, and about what awaits hundreds of thousands of our service men and women who come home bearing the scars of wars in far away places that seem increasingly irrelevant to our daily lives.

Here’s my question to you: Do you feel as patriotic as you used to?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: United States
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Brendan

    No, we're becoming a welfare state and I can't get over the fact that we straight up just "took" Iraq. What we did was no different from what any other Imperial power has done.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  2. Susan from Idaho

    Lee Greenwood and I are proud to be Americans!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  3. Paul Austin, Texas

    Yes, Jack I feel as patriotic as I ever did. There is much more to feeling patriotic then fireworks and parties. Patriotic means being happy we have our freedom and the right to vote for who we please. Also it gives anyone the right to say, protest, or even dislike what the government is doing and it's policies. Yes, Jack even Ms Palin saying and giving her opion about things she has no clue about and saying things like you bet cha. This is still the best country in the world in spite of everyone that is here. Being happy for freedom and your way of like in the U.S. all we need to do today is look up north to Canada on Canada day so much of a party like our 4th. Lets all be glad for what we have and have faith in ourselves that we all we make everything better.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  4. Roberto Galoppi

    You start by saying " The greatest nation in the history of mankind was born"
    Well there is the problem we were told what you said and we cannot live with a reality of a country far from perfect, run by people far from perfect and with expectations that nobody could ever fulfill.
    If we say that we are trying to be a good country and trying very hard, if we say that we were born out of a mix of people from all races, people that have accepted slavery for undred of years( among them the signatories of our constitution), people that have had six wars since the 2nd wor;ld war, all of them started with false pretexts, without winning anuone of them, with a congress that pays billions of dollars to farmers not to produce, rather than feeding the hungry. Well, if you would stop assuminmg the greatest country on hearth story and we all would admit that we are trying to do our best with the enormous resources given to this land, then, maybe we could feel , maybe, not very proud but adnmit that we are doing our best not overlwelmed by this legacy of the "Greatest country on hearth"

    July 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  5. Heath Los Angeles

    In fact, Jack, you should feel more patriotic than before with all that's going on and remember that this Country has been through far more devastating things and has come out on the other side better for it. But for us–what we can do going forward is actually vote the right people into office. I'm not talking about the anti-incumbent sentiment or the Tea Party's extremism. Those things, the swing of the pendulum, will only make things worse. We need to vote the greed out of politics as well as the ideologues that have damaged things further over the last 10 years.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  6. Matt

    Jack, I love my country as much today as I did yesterday, last week, last month, last year or last decade. However, just because I love my country doesn't mean I can't see the problems that need to be fixed. In fact, I love my country so much, I want those problems to be fixed. There's nothing wrong with wanting a good thing to get better. Now if only the politicians in the minority party would actually talk to the majority about the fixing problems rather than causing gridlock to try and win an election.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  7. Patsy, Texas

    Of course I feel as patriotic now as ever before. We are down, but not
    out. Our troops are fighting for America, and we cannot let them down
    by saying "why celebrate?" We are begging our Congresmen, and
    women, to get off their selfish duffs and start doing their jobs. They will
    be out waving the flag, singing "God Bless America", thinking they
    are doing a great job. They are not, and that is what we are so angry
    about. But, America is beautiful, and I am proud to live here,
    and together we can bring this thing around. BUT, the key word
    is "together", and until these Washington yahoos quit saying NO, and
    start saying "how can I help?" the recovery will take longer.
    HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY TO ALL!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  8. common sense in Texas

    When we have a President who bows down to foreign leaders, I have a more a feeling of disgust than patriotism.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  9. bill

    Jack, we love the country but are frustrated by Washington's politicians.
    The Democrats are the majority in the house and the senate, what have they done to fix employment? Nothing, if they were the minority they would have blamed the Republicans, as a majority they still blame the other party. The place is a basket case and I am furious.
    Maybe we don't need a federal government, let our state do the job, how worst can it get. Just an old dreamer but my flag is high up on the pole and I am celebrating.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  10. Brittney Moritz

    As a child, I loved Independence Day and proudly sported Red, White, and Blue. After the "Shock and Awe" invasion of Iraq, my patriotism began to nose dive. Now, the "Tea Partiers" would love to see our president fail. How can I be proud now?

    July 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  11. Doug

    Yes, I feel even more patriotic than before, especially when I witness the power grab by the current administration and the congressional majority. I hold out hope that the voters will remedy the situation in the next couple of elections.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  12. jimbo

    No Jack I don't feel as patriotic as I did on the 200th birthday of the USA. I was 16 then and 50 now. The fattest of the fat cats really screwed the pooch with their reenactment of leveraged business practices from the late 20's. Then instead of jumping out of windows they called Washington and said help us please. I love this country but there is not much reason to celebrate this year.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  13. Joe - Utah

    Obama is trying to destroy this Country with lighting speed. Unless congress "man's-up" and stops him, the Union may not survive. It is obivious that Obama hates America, hates rich white people, hates American corporations and businesses, hates Isreal, hates capitalism, hates the American way of life, hates any news media that opposes him, hates the internet, and is trying to re-make America according to his liking. Patriotic – yes. Very worried – yes. America has never been in more danger.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  14. Ann from Charleston SC

    Yes, I am still as patriotic as ever. I don't recall a time when our country didn't have one problem or other or several. We always have someone at odds with our government.. We have never agreed completely on anything and never will. Yet we always muddle through, and I have faith that we will again. Calm down, Jack. Americans have historically pulled together when needed, and we will again.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  15. John

    Dring the best of times, the worst of times and times in-between, my love of country never wanes. As a military veteran who served in Vietnam, it is notable to note that many Americans are spoiled beyond repair and many do not really know the extent of human suffering in the world.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  16. Rick C

    Jack: I do feel as patriotic as ever in regard to the American ideal! However, in regard to the American reality I feel bankrupt. Our country has become utterly insolvent in ethics, fairness and true care for its citizens' well being. Do I even need to comment on our financial state of affairs? However, and perhaps most telling, I feel we are totally bankrupt of effective leadership at the levels of our society where it is most needed.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  17. James

    Don't worry, I felt the same way for 8 years under Bush.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  18. Howard from Madison, WI

    I lost my patriotism a long time ago when I began to understand how the American lifesyle is based on the poverty millions around the world. The rights we claim for ourselves we so often deny to others for our own selfish gain.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  19. LS

    No way am I loving this stupid selfish nation. Let's stop pretending that we give everyone a fair shake. Let's just declare it a monarchy ruled over by bankers and Wall Street and have done.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  20. Joel Steiner

    The Nation is still one of the best on Earth, even if we have elected petulant children rather than true leaders to govern.

    I am still proud of what the US represents and its core values. It is a shame that those in Congress speak the words but do not know or care what their meaning is.

    America is more than bread and circuses, it is an idea and I am still proud of it, even if I am concerned about the future.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  21. Arlene, Illinois

    As senior citizens and my husband, who served in the Army in Korea, are one of the few who put out the flag on special days
    in out neighborhood. And yes we are proud of our country!
    Quit complaining and act as Americans.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  22. Larry - Tenn

    Do I feel patriotic this year? Jack, I love this country and have always been patriotic, like the folks in the real history lessons I attended when I was in school during the 50s and 60s. The country has not changed, nor the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

    What has changed is that government has ceased to be by and for the citizen and more about me, myself and I for those supposedly serving the public.

    These leeches, existing on donations and the public dole, while posturing in front of television cameras, lying through their teeth are not true representatives of Americans. The folks, around the world, wearing the uniforms of the various military services are the epitome of the American Spirit, putting themselves in danger for you, me and the its-all-about-me crowd.

    Hell yes I'm patriotic, I volunteered to serve in our military for 25 years and I would do it all over again, because America is worth it!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  23. Vic Karidakes

    Jack, you finally admitted the truth. Now take the cost of those 430,000 illegals and multiply it by 30. Then explain to the Democrats that they should pay that bill.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  24. Kim

    I'm 49 years old and unemployed. My sister is unemployed. The county just re-assessed my home and I am now officially underwater. The GoM and all of the humans near it will not recover in our lifetime. Just damn. But Jack, if we don't love this country and hold patriotism toward her, we are going to be in even more trouble than today. So put on your happy face and please go to a parade this weekend.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  25. Carl

    Jack
    Yes i still feel that patrioci as i use to, being patrioci isn`t just feeling you have when things are going alright, It when you know thing are bad and you dig in and work to mkae them better in any way you can and that what makes this a great nation, We alway dig in and get to work when we have too, So yes I still feel that patrioci

    July 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  26. Scott

    No Jack, I do not feel as patriotic as I used to. It is difficult when we have a President (and a Congress) that is so out of touch with the issues of today: the economy, our debt, creating jobs, leadership in handling the oil spill crisis, fighting illegal immigration etc. Furthermore, as it appears everyday like the Pres was directly involved with the Blagojevich corruption scandal, he proves to us everyday that his campaign claims of "leadership" and "change" were a load of BS. Pure partisan politics and cronyism are his M.O. As politicians go, more of the same I guess....actually worse than the usual more of the same. Are you as patriotic as you used to be Jack?

    July 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  27. Terrance Hill

    No, sadly I am ashamed of our leaders and where they have put us. This President promised to "Change" the tone in Washington and all he does is point fingers and blame,blame,blame. America RISE!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  28. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Jack,

    Anymore, I feel more like I am in love with the idea of patriotism as opposed to feeling patriotic. Between the fact that this nation is no longer a true democracy and those in real control of the country are the rich corporate, wealthy special interest groups, corrupt self serving politicians and illegal aliens, and the nation being in extreme debt to other countries thanks to the GOP, there really is no longer anything to feel good or patriotic about.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    July 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  29. David Lambing

    NO, I learned my lesson during the Vietnam War. Too many young men and women lost their lives during that useless war. Now Vietnam is a FAVORED NATION? The Country is not the problem, it's the people in Washington D.C. Re-elect no one. Put term limits on every office.
    Anyone here illegally should be sent home, ASAP.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  30. Andrew

    I am an Army Officer that has served in combat. Sometimes I wonder what I am fighting for anymore.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  31. Adam Lanotte

    As a marine Iraq war veteran of mortuary affairs I feel every bit as patriotic. However I fight for this country. Want to get my law degree to take the fight to who I see as the enemies, our current Congressman and inept leadership who have no business leading a country and people I fought for. My patriotism is to the stars and stripes, the American people, the Declaration of independence, and our Constitution. Not to politicians, corporations, oil, coal, or banks. Those are my enemies right now and I stand up for America, as we all need to unite and take the greedy out of power through democracy and voting in non rich, leaders of the people, not leaders of wealth

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  32. john from long island

    Yes Jack! But the ship is sinking....God Bless America, we need it now more than ever, not sure he will cause we are screwing up his planet big time!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  33. Pat Missouri

    Jack

    Yes i do, it something call faith that your country is still strong, if we had to recall other times when we worry about the future when it turned out okay later we would find about half ours 4th of july would been bad memories. but it not. go cook outdoors and drink lemonade watch the fireworks and remember your love for a country and it country mens and woman will be just fine

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  34. jan

    no because it has become apparent that the Republican party wants to to ruin our Country is their quest to regain power at all costs. They want our President and America to fail and damn the consequences to anyone but the GOP.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  35. Richard

    Of course I am as patriotic as I used to be - in fact more so, as what we protested about in 2000 is all proving to be accurate. Sure, we were shot at with rubber bullets for redressing grievances, but at least we are now proved correct:

    Big Oil is dangerous and has little concern for safety
    Our Banking system is out of control
    Corporate power is out of control in the USA.

    I trust the Constitution, and am more patriotic and patient than ever before.

    Freedom is by it's nature necessarily painful at times and many of us have proved our willingness to suffer from time to time for continued freedom.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  36. HeartArizona

    No, I'm not patriotic anymore. What is there to be proud or besides our amazing servicemen and servicewomen. To put your life on the line for what this country has become would be a real stretch for me, but then I'm middle aged and have seen too much bad changes and they keep getting worse. I agree with everything you just said Mr. Cafferty. My husband wants to move to Canada.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  37. Scott from Dallas

    This is the same question of character you often face in marriage; the good times are great, the tough times however are what determines the real value of the relationship. I am guessing those people who give up on the success of our nation and blame the President for everything, are the same ones that blame their spouses for their failed relationship just before they add to the greatest divorce rate in the world.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  38. Bob

    Mr. Caffety,

    I feel as patriotic as ever because our country has gone through worse and survived. Americans are known for their resilence and resolve and we will ultimately get through these tough times and be a stronger nation.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  39. Lew in No. Va.

    Jack,

    Tom Paine answered your question in December, 1776:

    "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it Now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. ... [W]e have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorius the triumph."

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  40. ed gibson

    How can you feel patriotic when you see how the country is changing? My Dad was a silver star receipent during World War ll and is probably turning in his grave because of the direction this country is taking.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  41. Don

    No, I don't feel as patriotic as I did in 1980. I owned the country then. Well, that is the middle class owned the country. Instead of government for the people we now have government for the ultra rich (at least hundreds of millions of dollars) and very large corporations. This isn't my country anymore. I don't have a country.

    Don

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  42. Karen F.

    I am one of the laid off teachers you read about.. only eligible for unemployment after I took myself off the substitute list for the next school year. Otherwise.. even though I am not working, the state considers me employed. Huh? I cannot pay my rent, bills, and medical insurance with the unemployment check.

    I have lost faith in our government. Is it just too big? I know, but I have to say it.. the middle class is disappearing. I am educated, a 60 yr old divorced woman, been teaching for 10 yrs and I am unemployed at 5 years short of retirement. When I elect to take my STRS teacher retirement, which is now $500 a month, my social security is subject to windfall legislation, windfall?!, and I will only get part of my SS. How will I survive?

    Are our senators, etc., wondering how they will make it when they retire?

    July 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  43. Steve, Perrysburg, OH

    Jack: I spent 30 years in uniform. I believe I'm as patriotic as the next person. But to me the issue is, "We the People" have become disengaged from our responsibilities inherent in a democratic nation. The scum bags occupying local, state and federal office are their because "We the People" are not involved in the political process. The people being nominated in too many cases shouldn't be. The people who should, refuse because of the gotcha political process. Until "We the People" get involved, this situation will not change.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  44. Buzz McCollough-Seattle

    The love I hold for my country has not diminished. It is my disillusionment with the actions(or inactions) of our elected representatives that have me in a funk. Too often, votes and decisions by members of congress are made with getting re-elected foremost in mind instead of voting with the interests of their constituents and the betterment of our country. It is my hope that when Congress goes home for recess they will really LISTEN to the people who sent them there and come back to put a hand up to vote instead of out to the nearest lobbyist waving a check!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  45. Margie Lindhorst

    Yes, I feel as patriotic as ever. I think Mr. Cafferty missed President Obama's immigration reform speech today. We are "can do" people. We can find solutions to our problems. We just need to get beyond this snarky, finger-pointing mentality. President Obama wants to lead us to new ideas and solutions. Change has always been difficult for many people. But it seems to me to be truly Unamerican to dig in your heals, hope the Presidents fails and try to increase chances of failure by saying "No" to everything.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  46. Mike Botsko

    Hey Jack I love the USA but after your lead in I want to move to Russia, Canada, Europe, Australia darn it even Haiti

    July 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  47. Josh Darcy Spfld. OR

    You read my mind, Jack. With all of the crippling issues that face our already troubled country, it breaks down my once prideful american spirit as we sit back and watch our great nation descend into a systematic decline of the trust in our government. So to answer your question Jack, no I do not feel that patriotism anymore.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  48. Mat

    If dissent is the highest form of patriotism, then I'm as patriotic as ever. But I pledge no allegiance to the Corporations that OWN the U.S. government. I am ashamed of our Country/Government's military, environmental, domestic, economic, and energy behavior(s). Our democracy has been consumed and perverted by unchecked capitalism and greed.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  49. donald kendrick

    As a veteran age 68, experience on or around Wall Street for 40 years, and a very proud American, I am extremely sad to see our country falling deeper in debt; Elections do matter and too many Americans seem to have forgotten that.
    Thank you so much for your comments. We are all watching. November is only 4 months away; hopefully we can bring some sanity back into our government.
    Author
    Donald Kendrick

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  50. Jim Blevins

    I feel much more Patriotic. During the dark ages of Bush, America was , indeed, acting the part of the Evil Empire. Now, we are returning to America the Good. We still have the illegal wars, but there is a strong push to end them. We have put in place the laws that will put and end to Americans dying for lack of health care. Obama today reminded all of America what the Statue of Liberty says. There all still people trying to push us back into the dark ages, but there is again a reason to be proud of our country.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  51. JoJo

    I hang my American Flag all year round on my house.
    This 4th of July, I will be taking it down.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  52. nic

    unemployed, u.i. benefits expired, and the senate just decided they have worked enough so they are going home for a week... while i hope to come up with a way to feed my family....the question isnt do i feel patriotic but do our senators feel patriotic...hope they know they are just being idiotic!!! hope they enjoy their 4th...hope their constituents give em hell!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  53. James Saunders

    I am an American. I feel as patriotic as I ever have. Considering both the Republican and Democratic politicians that we have I still feel patriotic.. Something must be helping our country considering the greedy idiots we have in government..

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  54. southerncousin

    Probably more so than ever considering that our freedoms are being taken away by the ignorant, corrupt, inept administration that is currently in office. Unions control him and are threatening us more than they ever have. Left wing nuts want to make us like the socialist in Europe. And this administration is attacking, demeaning and degrading the citizens of this country. Just listen to Obozo talk.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  55. Joe V

    I still feel very patriotic! I served my country for over 20 years and still very proud of this great country. Yes we have problems, but we become stronger from this challenges. We go out on a holiday weekend and salute our fallen and then use the day to right a wrong or just enjoy a day in the sun with family and friends.
    I am proud to be American.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  56. Matt Nielsen

    I do. I believe in this country with every ounce of my being. I'm a U.S. Army soldier and I agree that at times it is hard to keep faith in the people who call the shots but I think being patriotic is believing in your country at any cost. My patriotism is as strong as it ever will be for the overall strength of the country.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  57. Carmen

    You make it sound so grim!! I feel more patriotic than ever before because this is my country. Now is not the time to feel sorry for ourselves, now is the time to look ahead with great expectations no matters what it looks like. We can run things around we have to, glimmer of hope much!!. Persistence and patience!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  58. Harry

    Jack,

    Whats to be patriotic about? Our Country is falling further and further behind the rest of the world in Education, Health Care, and Social issues that it is appalling. We cannot even pass Universal Health Care in this country. The masses have been brainwashed into believing this is the land of the free when in fact it is the complete opposite. Greedy corporations vie for your very soul and many fall into their lies and believe every word they speak as if it was God's Truth. So, no Jack I do not feel very patriotic this season.

    ~Harry from California

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  59. Josh B. OHIO

    Our country is broke, we're borrowing money form other countries to pay for a war with foreigners and our future is unsure. That was 1776.

    I feel just as patriotic as one would feel back then.
    I remember firework displays being canceled in the 80's, it didn't mean the end of patriotism or the USA.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  60. Allison

    Not only do I not feel as patriotic as I used to, but I feel ashamed of our government. It is the fault of both Democrats and Republicans for their partisan bickering, putting the party first before the people. The Nazis put their party first. Communists put their party first. When will our country wake up and realize it is not the PARTY that matters, but the LEGAL CITIZENS of this great nation that matter. Too few people have too much power and choose to flaunt it just to hear their own voice instead of what is truly right for the people. Instead they tout the desires of the corporate machines that are their donors. Please explain to me how that is Patriotic?

    Allison from New City, NY

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  61. Ken in NC

    Jack, this year our celebration will consist of firing up my grill like every other year except that this year the economy mandates we cook virtual steaks for the gang.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  62. Dale

    Jack,
    I usually do not watch CNN but you did a great job of expressing my sentiments exactly

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  63. Paul in DeLand Florida

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." Thus Samuel Johnson in 1775. I am happy not to be patriotic, unless it is the true patriotism that says when my country is wrong, it must repent.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  64. mark

    We are blessed to live in this nation. We have problems but a whole lot less than most nations have. Perhaps this rough stretch will make us think twice about wars,tax cuts and new entitlement programs all despite warnings from economists.It's too late to slam on the brakes AFTER the car goes over the bluff. Maybe in the future we'll worry as much about the direction our politicians are taking our nation as much as we do about how long we'll have to stand in line to get the latest electronic doo-dad.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  65. Shane in FL

    Our nation is owned and operated by corporate crooks. Think carefully about what you wave your flag for.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  66. Percival

    We have reason to be down about our government, they seem to be more interested in representing themselves then the average citizen. However, what has me more concerned is the fact that so many in this country seem to be ignorant of the world around them. As a result our country's historic bigotry is poking it's nose out from underneath the table.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  67. Perecorp

    I think its a case of Americans being lazier than ever. If you are unemployed and not willing to work as many part time jobs as you have to or work at Wal Mart or McDonalds then that is on you and not our Government. Maybe these times will get every lazy American off of their butts, shut their mouths and go do something positive. Whatever happened to American ingenuity. Oh yeah – the lazy American. I have no problem with our current government, Ive never been unemployed in the past 10 years that wasn't of my own choice. I think we as Americans need to shut our mouths, get off of our lazy butts, shout down the Sarah Palins at any cost and STOP listening to the media! Happy Birthday America!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  68. Pam Rosenthal

    Jack, I am 64 and love my country as I always have but now it is like loving a barrell that is going over Niagra Falls.
    Pam
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  69. Kathy Chappell

    No. I was more patriotic in Worle War II. My father was in Pattons Army.
    My mother was in the WACSs keeping records at a Port of Embarkation, my husband was in England, and I was pregnant. I worried about them, but now I'm worried about my country and my Marine grandson. Not very patriotic. I am surrounded by illegals and drug gangs.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  70. Papa John Kaisermann

    My disappointment is in the lack of patriotic members of congress.

    They are for sale to the highest bidder.

    Warrens, WI

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  71. Richard Hughes

    Yes, Jack, I do feel as patriotic as I used to. In fact, as I have matured through the years and as I’ve gained firsthand knowledge of the many alternatives across the globe to the American ideal of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…I love this country more than ever. I believe in “American exceptionalism” and I hope our best days are not behind us. But I do share every ounce and every iota of your fears and feelings about where we are today. Happy 4th of July, Jack, and please keep up the good fight!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  72. Jim

    Country patriotic give me a break, as a retired navy sailor who does get 50% of my base pay most of our politians and citizens are only semi patriotic when their is a war going on. That is why military people today only get 30% base pay vs 50% 25 years ago. Also all retired military now pay for healthcare also education has been cut. this BS all took place 20 years ago and the people voted it in. Patriotic country yeah right

    Jim
    USN RET
    Arkansas

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  73. Anthony from New Jersey

    Jack, I'm not a fair-weather patriot. If citizens are losing their will, it's only because they have grown apathetic and have lived through years of relative peace guaranteed by the huge struggles of the greatest generations during the World Wars. If we can't weather the speed bumps of today then we deserve to perish. Let's emulate our forefathers who in our most perilous times stepped up and answered the clarion call.
    Sacrifice is in our blood. Let's not forget the lessons of yesterday.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  74. Patricia Bassett

    I love to look at my country's flag all the time; it stirs me inside like nothing I can compare it to; however, I feel that my government no longer cares about me or anyone else for that matter and they just "parade" us citizens out in meetings whenever they need to have some heartstring pulling...It sickens me..do something for your citizens..help them...you helped the banks with our money didn't you..NOW your telling us unemployed that were "slackers" and the price of unemployment benefits is too high..What a friggin joke...it's like our money is good enough but were not...I'm totally disgusted...

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  75. Jan Johnson

    Jack,

    I am one of 22,000 California teachers who received lay off notices this year. I am 60 years old and teach High School Spanish. I spent most of my life at home raising four children until after my husband died of multiple myeloma. He was a "downwinder" from southern Utah, one of many who suffered cancers after living through the above ground A-bomb tests of the '50's and '60's. That means I don't have a retirement yet and had planned on teaching until my '70's. No, I do not feel very patriotic this year, as I scurry around trying to figure out where my next "job" will come from and where I can ever have a retirement.

    Maya1949

    July 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  76. Chuck

    I am a patriot who suffered permenant disability in service to my country and I would gladly defend my country today if it was truly threatened. I do not need to support those currently in office or the misguided policies they promote in order to feel patriotic. I only need to remember the thousands to have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend the ideals of our founding fathers, from the Revolutionary War subsequent attacks on our shores, from the War of 1812 to the Mexican-Amercan war to World War II. I love my country, not it's current leaders.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  77. Wes Boone

    I still feel proud to be a natural born U.S. Citizen. I still believe in my country, just not my government. If politicians are too comfortable to rock the boat then perhaps it's time for the boat to capsize.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  78. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    You're soft, jack, too used to a good thing. If you check your history books, we were probably in worse shape after the Civil War than now. Not only was the Nation divided almost in half, but foreign governments (mostly England) were supporting the South, sending them arms and importing cotton made by slave labor even though their own governments forbade slave labor within their own borders.

    We facing a similar issue today with international corporations trying to trash our country with dispersents and industrial practices that would be illegal in their own countries. Instead of cleaning up their act they turn and bribe weak politicians to ask the US to apologize to the corporations (I mean BP) for being made to pay for and clean up the mess they made.

    Since the war of 1812, England or the UK or whatever, have been trying to disrupt or take back the "colonies" even though we helped them through WW I & II. I say, in spite of the mess that's going on, we should hold our heads up high and say "Yay, Yay, USA!" and shoot off enough fireworks so Tony Haywood can see it from his house.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  79. Ted Logan

    Jack, suggest to anyone who's feeling less patriotic than before, for whatever reason, to travel outside this country for a month or so. Anywhere: Europe, the UK, Asia, South Amerca. I can guarantee that when they return to the USA they will promptly feel intensely patriotic, as I always have when I've returned from a trip abroad. Compared to anywhere else in the world, this is far and away the greatest place to call home.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  80. Max

    Yes, "Just Dems," and I thank God. Two years ago–and I will never forget–you had great reason to be distressed. Not today. You should celebrate with me this 4th of July. My theme will be: "Never again!" And we will continue to lead and bring the others with us so that our country will once again bring promise to those who are still suffering and in need.

    Max
    An intellectual independent from Mills River NC

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  81. Carolyn Grossi

    I feel just as patriotic as I always have. There is no where in the world I would rather live than the USA. Times are much tougher than I can remember in my 71 years. But when I see the constant hardships and suffering all over the world I love this country even more. Politics seem nastier but then we know everything in detail about every political official more quickly than ever before.

    I know it was a much harder life for my grandparents and great-grandparents than it is for me.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  82. Alexander

    Yes, I feel very patriotic.. Never felt any less than All American!
    This country is our country.. we need to get stricter immigration laws, demand that foreigners speak ENGLISH language... and that they enter in our country LEGALLY .

    We need to put welfare receipents on JOBS.. Get a job.. Make them work to get limited benefits... Stop giving welfare people free food, free medical, free dental, free hearing and vision. Make them do community service to get limited benefits.. Use more time and effort helping the elderly. Afterall, they have worked to be able to draw that social security check so why not give them the free food. They did pay taxes during their working years and so. have put in on it.

    Stop the Freebies and that will increase money in other areas that will help decrease the deficit.

    Quit giving handouts to able bodied unproductive and unlegal people..and maybe we can re-claim : Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  83. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Has nothing to do with patriotism as far as I can see. The middle class still loves this country. It has to do with politicians that ran on the premise they were looking out for their constituency but given an opportunity to make a positive impact for the public at large through financial reform and elimination of too big to fail, the GOP takes the tax out of the reform bill and places the tax payers back into bailing out the wealthiest businesses in the world. Go figure ... patriotism, Jack? Maybe you should ask the question to the politicians.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  84. Bill

    As a Gulf Storm veteran, an unemployed citizen, and a dismayed American, I can't say I'm in a celebrating mood as thousands fight two wars that didn't need to be fought, millions don't have jobs, millions of barrels of oil flow freely into the Gulf, killing habitat, an economy, and a way of life, while certain corporations continue to monopolize as elected officials avoid tools like the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. One party throws out possible solutions, One party simply says "NO" to any options put out, and most of the country watches TV, unengaged with the realities of today's America.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  85. Jan Westwood

    Yes, I feel even more patriotic as ever, maybe even a little more than before. Yes, we have some problems, but we are a nation of "doers". If anything bothers me in todays world it is the idea of instant remedy to our problems that is expected by some of the people by all of the politions. Some things take time to get done. some things won't satisfy some of the people. But all this gloom & doom has never solved a problem & it won't this time either. I am a senior citizen, whose retirement funds have lost most of it's value, but that was because the banking instiutions were playing fast and loose woth our money. I have seen a government run war destroy our moral and I want this one run my the men who know how to do it. We as a country has always made sacrifices for the greater good off ALL people. Places like Arizonia have plenty of money to spend on lawyers, why don't they take that money and use it for a solution to the problem they think is so bad. A few years ago they all but gave sining bonus to the people who would do the labor americans won't. If you think that isn't the case, but an ad in a paper, offer wages at the state level and see how many people will come out for the job & even more how many lasts all day.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  86. Joe in Texas

    Jack, I love this country. It really is the greatest country in history. Now, with all that is seemingly going wrong, we must dig our heels in. We need to reconnect to the ideals and values of our past. I was fortunate enough to spend Christmas, 2007, with my son in Diyala Province, Iraq. He was a Cav Scout, and I was in Civil Affairs. I know what a great , and bountiful country this is. It was made that way by the hard work, sacrifice, and patriotism of its citizens. God bless America.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  87. Ant Calloway

    Yes of course I feel Patriotic, We have overcome worst situations. These Troubling times are temporary and they won't last forever. The United States will Stand for many more Decades to come, If the SLEEPING GIANT awakens!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  88. Robert

    England still owned half of New York after the revolutionary war: Did we lose the revolution and win the war or did we win the revolution and lose the war....I'm confused...I was a 3rd generation LEGAL Italian immigrant who was poor growing up. We were chased and bullied by the police and when I tried to get a job as a youth I was told "all you guineas look alike". Now my Italian (but white) son can't get a job because an illegal alien has taken it. On top of that, Wall Street and corporate greed have taken over this country and forced the middle class into bankruptcy. The only alliegance anyone in this country has is to "green" and I'm not talking about mother nature.....

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  89. Carol - Glen Ellyn, IL

    WOW, Jack! You're not invited to the 4th of July party I'm not holding due to the expense! Sure, we're going through a difficult period, but how is this different from every other difficult period in our history? We may not be able to throw elaborate parties, but I don't see Americans fleeing the county in droves. No one ever claimed this country is perfect. Maybe we all need to appreciate what we DO have, which is more than most people in the world have....

    July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  90. Jason

    Jack, I feel honored to be an American. I love this country just as much today as I did 3 years ago when times were better. However, my faith in my government has been completely lost. My faith in our elected officials that are supposed to be serving our best interests, instead of big banks and corporations is gone. While I will still celebrate our nation's independence day, It will be with great sadness with the direction are elected officials are steering us towards.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  91. Rob, Arlington, VA

    Jack, my patriotism faltered each time over the past 10 years when the Executive Branch gradually chipped away and eroded our Constitutional rights. Always justified in the interest of National Security, we have devolved to a seemingly insecure nation the founding fathers would be ashamed if. I love the United States and only wish the competing interests within our country will one day achieve harmony. Till then, I will always wonder about the fate of our great nation and hope we find resolve for the
    vast array of critical issues facing our nation.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  92. Anna

    I came to the US from the Philippines (legally) when I was four years old, and I truly believe that first-generation immigrants are the people best able to appreciate the haven of liberty and opportunity that America is. It's a place where no one can limit you based on your gender, color, or income level (and where you can, in fact, sue people if they try). It's a place where uniqueness is encouraged and government dissenters are lauded as courageous heroes (just try that trick in Iran or North Korea). After 14 years in Arizona, I graduated as valedictorian of my high school and am headed to the University of Chicago this fall. One last point: this is the only Cafferty File question I have ever felt strong enough about to actually reply to. So, do I feel as patriotic as I used to? Yes, I do. And I always will.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  93. Theresa

    Jack,

    I have always been patriotic enough to celebrate Independence Day. Who are the Americans today who feel they have an excuse to not be patriotic? My people were slaves when America declared her independence. Yet, we celebrate every year in good times and bad, because we are proud Americans. What's your excuse again?

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  94. Patti

    ABSOLUTELY! As a female African American retired US Army soldier, I feel more patriotic than ever. Only a few decades ago minority US citizens could finally say this country also belongs to them. Minorities are well acquainted with fear of how to make ends meet, joblessness, and helplessness–but quitting was never an option. Now 'everyone' (minorities and majority alike) is experiencing the heavy blow of helplessness. Perseverance is the key.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  95. AC

    I felt, I feel, and I always will feel patriotic. It is only one exception and it is when Mr. Biden wants to tie my patriotism to his tax collection machine!
    I fully understand that times are not as they should be, but who can expect live to be perfect.
    Finally, I hope that our present government put their act together and start doing some real work in behave of the American people. The thruth is that this administration has done nothing good for the USA.
    It is extremely dissapointed when you see the President of the USA not even attent or pay tribute to the falling ones in Memorial Day.
    That's sad, very sad indeed.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  96. Tommy

    I don't feel the least bit Patriotic....I am fed up with the Joke we call a Government. It is difficult when we have a President (and the CROOKS we call Congress) that is so out of touch with the issues of today: the economy, our debt, creating jobs, leadership in handling the oil spill crisis, fighting illegal immigration etc. I have been with out work for over a year, not due to the lack of searching either. There is nothing out there. I have even set my sights for work out of state...still zero. If I was younger, Hell I would enlist, atleast I would have food to eat. I believe its time for an over haul...term limits for congress, 4 years then your out. This way they will work for WE THE PEOPLE like it is suppose to be.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  97. Annie, Atlanta

    Of course, I love my country. I just don’t like some of its citizens who would sell usdown the river at the highest return for the lowest investment possible. Patriotism for them is dollar signs; that's also the extent of their humanity.

    And I have a question, Jack, how do you propose we seal 2000 miles of border (and I'm assuming you mean southern, since we don't appear to have a problem with Canadians, just Mexicans).

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  98. olscool

    sure do not feel free and sure do not feel independant! No income no unemployment no help from the goverment. A great man once said (ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country) well sir I invested 13 years in the armed forces left because of all the bureacratic bullcrap I am 49 years old and have been a income tax payer since i was 12 have built a good number of the homes in my area and contributed to our great country and now we have been tossed to the side by our elected Representatives I feel very oppressed and very angry that we are being refered to in the senate as stray animals and the republicans voting nay on everything such as unemployment shows they agree with the statement thank you for your time

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  99. Lonnie KS

    Jack

    Yes I still patriotic about our country even though our nation is very much broke but who is to really say that any other country isnt? Sure we have vastly huge problems and it seems basically impossible to solve them but they can be solved. if we have our mind set on failure then we will in fact fail but if we have more of a positive attitude then we will make it through. Think of all of the crud thats going on this is just another one of God's tests we can pass this if we have our mind open to the possiblities. I doubt most even think of considering the fact that we can make it through. As for the rest who blame Obama for everything its not his fault he was passed down other issues that the past Presidents pushed aside example President Bush...

    July 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  100. Richard Crist

    I love you Jack, because you tell it like it is...a real man...John Wayne reincarnate!

    This country has a severe lack of real leaders and true Americans in government and at the heads of the biggest businesses in America. Leaders, do what is best for the majority, even when they need to stick their necks out to do it!

    The USA, the greatest country in the world is on it's knees due to the selfish and self serving decisions of a few people in power for their own short term profit. The list starts with George Jr, the majority of the Washington politicians, the heads of AIG and Bear Sterns, etc, etc. The American people feel helpless and feel that the rich and powerful just don't give a s- about America and it's people!

    When will these people get the message and change? Does it take someone putting a gun to their heads....hmmm!

    Richard Crist
    Praying for the best!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  101. Arnold Mi

    After the last 30 years I have lost most of my patriotism. We have Elected Officials who are paid very well with tax payers money, but seem to think that know one else is entitled to anything more that the crumbs that they leave behind. I think the solution is to pass a single piece of legislation that holds our Elected Officials "criminally responsible" for their policy making.

    This would eliminate the need for campaign funding rules, voting against a health care bill when 45,000 are dying every year,cutting taxpayers off of the unemployment roles while they pay themselves $175,000 a year with our money, and trying to cut our Social Security benefits.

    In short: many of our Elected Officials are a bunch of worthless gangsters who should be introduced to the nearest jail cell!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  102. Jane in Charlotte, NC

    I have never felt such dispair and anger over the state of our country as I do now. Will things ever turn around in our lifetime? I doubt not and it saddens me to think of what the future holds for our grandchildren and my retirement in 10 years. Our government (or I should say our President) is totally out of touch with reality and the plight of the American people. Every proposal and decision that Mr. Obama makes is purely political and self-serving. He has certainly succeeded in "change" - in a negative way. I think we are all feeling it this Independence Day and can only pray to God that more positive times are ahead. So do I feel less patriotic than I use to? Yes, I grow more so every day as I remember the feelings of the past and strengthen my desire to defend all of us who are true Americans. God bless America!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  103. Carmen Pacheco

    Do I feel as patriotic as I used to? No, I feel MORE patriotic. Mine, and my neighbor's yards are draped and strewn with flags and red-white-and blue ribbons. There's a big yellow bow on our front door in honor of my stepson who is serving our country in Afghanistan. And my daughter continues to make bows to give away at local busineses, to remember our young men and women serving around the world. Yes, our country is in crisis right now but all the more reason to come together, and celebrate, and remember those who's sacrifice has earned us another birthday.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  104. Kathryn, Pflugerville, Texas

    Hell, yes, I feel patriotic and much more now than I did all those Bush years. Fixing our current mess will take time, but we are certainly heading in the right direction.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  105. Carol

    Jack, shame on you, if one of your loved ones was very ill and struggling would you love them less? turning ones back on the country won't solve anything. We are becoming a nation that lacks the motivation to do something, instead we wait for someone else to fix it and complain while we wait. I will gladly give up the fireworks, can't people live without the frills for a little while?

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  106. peta

    Yes, I am more patriotic than I have ever been because now is the time when my country needs me more than ever. I would never consider this as a time to be unpatriotic. Americans historically have been people who come together when in crisis and we are in the midst of many crisis but we can't loose hope and any feelings of lost hope can be dispelled by getting involved in your communtiy and doing something to help vs. standing back and whinning about our countries troubles.
    There is a young boy who weekly has been coming by my neighborhood and selling cherries to make some money. He isn't asking for a handout he is working with what he has to earn a living. We should follow his example. The future well being of our country is worth every effort any of us can make.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  107. Ollie S. (Studio City)

    I am proud of the fact that in this country, corporations are legally made into citizens. Only if you're a corporation you also get social benefits, whereas the rest of us don't. And when we ask for them, we're labeled as leftist, communist, socialist, nationalist, anti american, and unpatriotic by those that are uninformed or benefit from the status quo. When we the people get bailed out, let me know. That's when I know my democratic America has been given back to the real citizens from the artificial ones.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  108. Marva

    I feel more Patriotic than I have in years. I am now displaying the American Flag. I haven't done that since 911.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  109. Debra Danielsen

    Jack,
    You need to visit a third world country like Senegal, West Africa to appreciate our incredible country and its opportunities. Are times hard for us? Yes of course, but we are still incredibly blessed, in fact over indulgently blessed. There is a price to enjoy our freedoms and opportunities. Sometimes we lose our jobs, and have to make do, but as Americans we can always look to the future and know things will get better. Sometimes we have to sacrifice to understand what we have and to appreciate our history. I have a son serving in the Navy Seabees in Farah, Afghanistan, and another son serving in the Peace Corps in Dakar, Senegal. Both sacrifice to serve our country diplomatically and in peace keeping. I work as an instructor at a public university that graduates more Latinos than any other university in California. I am very proud of that fact and that I participate in that process. I have two other children attending college. Name another country where a single mother could send four kids to college? We're blessedly spoiled, and I am so grateful to be an American. I will celebrate being an American more than ever this year.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  110. Susie

    Jack, I'm 59, unemployed and no health insurance. My unemployment will stop soon. But, when I really think about it, I am so proud that I was born into this wonderful country. There is no other country like ours. I'm working on my family history and found that several relatives fought for the the freedom of this country, freedoms we still have. Our government is stil working to help all Americans live a free and better life. We still have a lot of work ahead, but we do keep working on it. Slowly, but still going forward. Yes, I'm a very proud American and I say thanks to all those who have helped make this country safe and secure. We need to stop whinning and get to work.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  111. Richard in Missouri

    Jack, I do feel patriotic, but at the same time, I don't. Know what I mean? It's going on around here too, few if any public fireworks celebrations, the state is slashing it's budget, the food pantries are overwhelmed.
    I don't know what the answer is, but I wish someone would come up with it now, instead of later.
    The one thing that does make me swell with patriotism, is seeing our young heroes in uniform and the service they perform, whether we agree with the policy behind it or not.
    Just my two cents.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  112. Mike K

    I am a farmer. I remember the fall harvest of 2001 after the attacks. Many farmers had flags flying on their combines and trucks during harvest. People driving by on highways would honk and wave. People were proud tobe an American. I feel that does not exist today. Our country started an unjust war (Saddam really never did anything to our country), our economy collapsed due to Wall Street and banking greed, and now expects the rest of the world to bail us out. The rest of the world has a bad opinion of our country and justly so. Do I feel patriotic and proud of our country. Not like I used to. Hard working Americans will make us great again, but that will take time.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  113. david goodyear

    I have never seen this great country take such a turn for the worse and by someone who calls himself an American. No joy for me this 4th.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  114. Daniel M

    Since when should the state of the country matter when it comes to MY sense of patriotism? I'm as patriotic as ever, I can't say the same for congress. Adjectives have nothing to do with making policy, and from what I see, democrats and republicans are first and foremost concentrated on not cooperating with each other. Obama has been slow to address concerns which primarily has interest with conservatives, but now that he is with inviting republicans to make comprehensive immigration reform, they pretend to look around as if no one is at the podium.

    You wanna talk about patriotism? Patriotism is the desire to better your country, stubbornness, in my opinion, is the polar opposite. After the Revolutionary War, this country has been founded and preserved on the basis of compromise. So patriotism to me and should be to law makers, that you get at least some of what you want even at the cost of accepting some of what the opposition wants. Not everything or nothing. Republicans are as stubborn as the mascot of their opposition.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  115. Joe Guerra

    I am as patriotic as always. Being Hispanic, divisiveness and hatred has hiphen-ated my Americanism. Knowing that my ancestors arrived in the U.S. in 1747 (New Spain at the time, now Texas) and having served in the U.S. military, I am a proud patriotic American and love my country even with my brown skin.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  116. Don from California

    Easy answer, Jack: Not Even Close.
    I'm old enough (50s) to have watched as our society has passed the tipping point. As recent years' events have shown, now particularly the Gulf oil disaster, our institutions (both govt. and private/corporate) have become ponderous and ineffective, and our politics can't give us anyone worth the title "leader". Simply put, we no longer actually DO anything important.
    So it's no surprise that "patriotism" has degenerated into jingoism and adolescent bluster, while no one can do anything to halt our decline into the twilight. Sad.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  117. Marty

    Jack-yes, I feel more patriotic than ever and all of us should feel
    that way. If we aren't proud to be Americans, grateful to God for
    for our military/veterans, and thankful for the Judeo-Christian
    values this country was founded upon....than God help us!We
    will then surely die as a nation consumed by pride, materialism,
    self-indulgence, and out and out apathy! Never give up, never
    give in! Marty, Houston,Tx

    July 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  118. marty herrick

    All I can say is that you about nailed it in your question. We still display the Flag, hands over our hearts when it passes by during a parade, and stand up for the national anthem even for baseball games on the tube. It just seems like a lesson in futility, when our so called leaders seem to be setting a very poor example. I.E. Greed, politics, and personal ambition. No wonder there,s alot of 5ths on the 4th.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  119. Ken Degitz

    No, Jack,....sadly not. The same freedom that was so hardly earned by this country's former Patriots is now used to enable corporate greed, foster hate of fellow Americans, push consumerism, and create a climate of "me first". I fear that America may have seen the better days of fellow Americans working together towards common goals in productive and positive ways. If being a patriot means putting down others for what they believe and constantly selling our souls for a" sidewalk sale", then we are in trouble.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  120. susan burkhalter

    I am still patriotic and love my country but we are in dire need of a leader. I do not trust Obama at all. I think we are on the brink of a real financial disaster and possibly even deeper problems because the country is so divided. I have never felt so disgusted about politics. This administration is being ruled by the SEIU and the ACLU not by the people as it is supposed to be. I think that the illegal amnesty will put us over the edge in every way, every bad way. Obama is not who he said he was and he is not to be trusted. Mississippi

    July 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  121. Jan in North Carolina

    Reading the above comments from others made me feel sad, happy, hopeful and discouraged all at the same time. Yes I am as patriotic as ever but for the first time in my life, I have a real fear concerning the direction of our country. All our past presidents, on both sides, have certainly been less than perfect; however, I never doubted their love and commitment to our country even when I disagreed with their policies. This time it's different – I think this president has no regard for anyone or anything but his personal political ambitions. Polls indicate that people still think he's a nice guy – I just don't get it.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  122. Marion Sapp

    No...I do not fell as patriotic as I use too. Once I felt patriotic enough to Enlist in the military and to spend 2 years overseas. Then we were a "can do" country. Now we seem to lose all wars even though they are tiny countries. Our leaders seem always to be posturing and not solving major problems. Some parts of the country seems to understand that you must first help yourself, others seem to be asking the government for help all the time. But...being the eternal optimist "this too, will come to pass.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  123. Bob Mears

    If anything I am more a patriot than ever. I am sick and tired of the land of the free being used by idiots that use the Constiution as a legal tool to undermine our values. You did not mention that "in the year of our lord" is offending. I have not forgot September 11, 2001. I once saw a man complain to a store manager about a sign that read"In God We Trust- all others pay cash"

    July 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  124. Adam

    Jack, I'm sure the "Fat Cats" on Wall Street feel patriotic. They're the only ones that can afford to have fireworks or a party this year! As for me, I will probably just be trying to figure out a way to provide a decent way of life for my family in this crazy place we call home!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  125. Jason St. Pete Fl

    Jack what is their to be patriotic about? We have high unemployment, the collapsed rubble of the housing market, and two wars. Nine years later still no Bin Laden. And now we have the worst ecological disaster in history going on day after day, not only killing off species and the habitats, but killing jobs of fishers, shrimpers, and oystermen.

    By the way Jack, one of the places I used to go as a kid for the 4th of July, is now covered in tar balls. Gulf Shores, Al

    July 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  126. Chris in Blaine, WA

    The thing that damaged my blind patriotism the most was seeing how the military was run from the inside. Civilians will probably never understand what it's really like. I don't recommend finding out.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  127. Jeff S.

    Unfortunately, it is hard to be patriotic in this environment. Obama is destroying what made this country great (e.g., hard work, capitalism). Things are only going to continue to get worse based on the current leadership. America is in sad shape.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  128. Bob in waco tx

    I personally am as patritic as ever. I think the people of my gereration, ( 1940s), feel the same. I also feel that the last several generations of our younger people dont care one way or another or dont even know what it means to be patriotic.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  129. Bramel

    Absolutely, that is why I am so frustrated by our "leadership", fiscal foolishness, and general direction of our great country. Bramel

    July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  130. Diana

    Well I did until I read your article!!! Do I feel good about the Government? Certainly not. Do I feel good that our men and women are putting their lives on the line and for what? No. Do I think the oil leak was a set-up? Yes. Do I wish President Obama knew what he was doing? Yes. Will I go to a parade and fireworks? Yes. We will come out of this. We will be a better people because of it. We are Americans!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  131. Gigi Oregon

    I celebrate our forefathers and what they fought and died for. But corporate America is killing the America that I grew up in. And for that i weep for my children. And the greed in our government. Collecting wages and lobbyists money to work against the people.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  132. Henri D. Kahn

    I love, honor and respect my home, The United States of America".
    I started in life without a silver spoon or any metal spoon for that matter.
    Now, I am financially well off after many years of creative, dedicated work.
    I contribute to several needy organizations and feel both proud and lucky to give the money.
    The only thing that erks me is that the current President of the United States is aiming to control my life in a variety of ways that violates my freedom of choice.
    Laredo, Texas

    July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  133. June in Chicgo

    If you mean by "Patriotic", am I proud and thankful to be an American – then Yes! If you mean am I proud of this country and what is going on in Washington – then the answer is No! Until we do something about these so-called leaders of ours, I don't think any one can be patriotic. We have become a country that is run by a government that is more interested in lining their own pockets and securing their jobs than they are about what is happening to the people they are suppose to be representing. People are losing their homes and going hungry in this great nation of ours and I'm not talking about people who play off the system, I am talking about people who have worked their whole life, paid taxes, played by the rules and by no fault of their own are now displaced by actions of our government. We have become a joke to others and I believe the rest of the world is laughing at us. It makes me sad. . .

    July 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  134. Bob

    Let me make this simple, I used to love America and politicans were OK then. Now America is going down the toilet and they refuse to listen to us. I am 68 and God can take me anytime and the idiots can finish flushing the toilet.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  135. Melissa

    Honestly, since I care more about the American people than most Americans do, even though I'm a legal immigrant from Canada, I think I'm more patriotic to the United States than most Americans I've met who seem to put ephemeral ideals and money above the well being of the people of their own country.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  136. Frank

    As a Veteran I can remeber a time when my patriotism was unwaivering. However, under the current leadership I feel as if our voice is falling on deaf ears. President Obama and his minions are pushing their own agenda with no regard to how the majority of Americans feel.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  137. Tom Pacetti

    No, I do not feel patriotic toward a country which the senators do not care for its people, only their selfish self.
    The proof is in their action, as they headed out the senate door I think I over heard a senator say. . . "Let them eat cake. . ."
    Sure hope they have a nice vacation.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  138. Beverly H Tatum Charlotte NC

    Jack,
    I feel more patriotic. We have the most intelligent, best leader, most caring, and multitasking President of my lifetime.
    It's why Republicans like you hate him so much. He has been extremely successful in restoring our country, to cleaning up all the Republican messes related to deregulation, and now working to clean up another one in the Gulf.
    I feel confident, positive, and hopeful for the first time in years that under President Obama we will again become a respected and prosperous nation where the middle class matter more than large abusive corporations.
    I love my country and have great respect for my President. Used to be all Americans showed respect for the President even if you disagreed with him. Republicans destroyed that American value.
    Regardless, we are a better nation and will progress in great new ways through President Obama's leadership and people-oriented programs.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  139. Ismael

    Yes! I feel very patriotic! Not every day, year or even decade will be "the best ever," but we are STILL America. And, oh, There appeared to be a slight suggestion that President Obama should already have "back on course" everything that has been wrong or "off course" in this country for the last several decades; as if everything that is wrong now is his fault. So, why should I feel unpatriotic NOW?

    I am a registered Republican voter, have been for 25 years. Elected republicans today have nothing to offer except criticism; for this I should be ashamed, but I'm not lacking in patriotic spirit. I question the nature of your inquiry...

    July 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  140. sandy engelman

    My patriotism is not affected by the problems that are present. I still think this is the greatest country on earth; however, the greed of many has created a severe situation. I think we are near the brink of becoming a 3rd world country due to them and the politicians who do not represent us, the citizens.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  141. Steve, Houston TX

    Well, Jack, I have mixed feelings. Our country has done so many great things and when I see accomplishments like the sequencing of the human genome, or companies now contemplating commercial spaceflight, or the amazing medical advances we've driven, I feel a great sense of pride. On the other hand, we've got an administration that squandered a hard-fought year of recovery pushing a massive new entitlement program while 10% of Americans are out of work and there seems to be a large group in this country that have no problem relying on the nanny state. It could really go either way now. I hope Americans step up and show the strength they've shown in past eras when faced with adversity. I fear few have the stomach.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  142. fred, montello, nevada

    I am a proud American and nothing will ever change that. However, the bunch in Washington seems hell bent on destroying our American values and way of life. Replace the whole lot of them, I say.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  143. Jason

    I still love this country even with all the bigotry, the problems facing our economy, lack of immigration reform, etc. When it is all said and done and I feel I cant take anymore, I realize that our country will have problems just like other countries no matter who or in allot of of cases what is in office. We may have to go through red tape to exercise them but allot of the rights we still have can hardly be found in any other country. Like I mentioned as a country with many nationalities, different attitudes and beliefs, it would be impossible for it to be the perfect country to everyone. I love my rights, I remember that every time I can turn on my lights and not have to walk five miles to the nearest river to use the bathroom.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  144. Sunny Conley

    No, I no longer feel patriotic. Our flag's broad stripes and bright stars have narrowed and dimmed. The land of the free has become a land of police, giving proof that our flag – as we knew it – no longer exists for the home of the brave.

    Scottsdale, Ariz.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  145. Steve in Omaha

    In December 2009 I had to file for Chapter 13. In April I lost my job. My house is close to foreclosure. I’ve applied to 80+ jobs and got one interview on June 10th. Nothing further. I have two strikes against me in this wonderful America. I’m over 55 and currently unemployed so that makes me a criminal. Patriotic? HELL NO! People will be losing their unemployment benefit extensions because the fat hogs of Congress need to go on a week’s vacation. Bail out the banks and stomp on your taxpayers. Patriotic? HELL NO!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  146. Bob Gio

    Jack,

    Nothing could ever remove my patriotism, or lessen my patriotism and love for this country, and my fellow Americans. Not even being unemployed for 9 months, not even when I do not get a position I feel I am qualified for...Nothing Jack. We are the moral light on the hill for mankind and an imperfect model of how governments should try to assist its people.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  147. J.E.

    Jack

    Underlying virtually every one of our nation's problems is a basic and fundamental reality........as a citizenry we are now philosopically and deeply divided, almost right down the middle, and, seemingly, moving more apart with each passing day. The result is that our government is equally divided - in absolute reflection of the mindset of its people, and is therefore now unable to craft voting blocks sufficient to overcome the supermajorities necessary (under our house/senate rules) to effect the meaningful policies that the country so desperately requires if it is to have any chance of escaping the black hole into which it appears to have fallen.

    Why should we expect our politicians to be less polarized than our citizens.......if anything, given the stridency of the political opponents at the expanding edges of each party, shouldn't we, sadly, reasonably expect to see even more division...and, thus, even more gridlock?

    jre

    July 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  148. Marguerite

    From Seattle, WA

    Strangely my sense of patriotism has not been impacted by all of the problems the country is going through. I love this country and the values that it was founded on as much now as I ever did.

    What I have lost hope and faith in is the future of the middle class in America; immigrants coming to America and adopting and supporting its values and language, the CEO that actually cares about the people in his/her company, the statesman politican who represents the needs of citizens not lobbyists and the Supreme Court that decides cases for the citizens and not companies.

    From my perspective everyone in Washington DC needs to shut , grow up and work together to make things better, not worse every day,.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  149. Spockanator

    Hard to feel patriotic when ya broke and out of work.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  150. wanda jenkins

    NO!!!! How can you celebrate america's birthday when you know that many americans are going to be without unemployment benefits. They can't celebrate because they have to worry about how to pay their bill, raise their childen through no fault of their own. I hope the senate has a bad a recess as the rest of american are going to have. But we all know, that they a getting a paycheck!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  151. Jeff In Minnesota

    Always. No society is ever perfect, but all in all, America is not a place to be ashamed of being from. Can we do better? No doubt. Long live the United States of America.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  152. Jen

    No, I feel less and less patriotic as this administration tears our country apart. The sad thing is that most other countries actually enforce their borders and laws and won't be welcoming an influx of Americans when we try to leave the Amnesty Nation. I feel lost and sad for this country.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  153. William Pittock

    What is Patriotism but faith and pride in your country? Our country is starting to heal from the eight years of presidential abuse and hubris – and to return to the nation we expect it to be. We are a constructive partner in world affairs, our government is generating laws to help all Americans and not the influential few, and we as a people are starting to again take pride in our leaders and institutions – after a long time. Now, if the radical activist Supreme Court and the "one party one vote" Republican Party would start thinking about all Americans on this July 4, we might make even more progress towards becoming that Shining City on the Hill....

    July 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  154. Mark

    I want to, but I am so ashamed that I am unable. All I can see is greed as far as my eyes can see. Corporate greed is absolutely destroying this nation. Our government professes to be capitalistic. They protect those who sit high atop the economic food chain. Our present economy is dysfunctional. It is stated that Wall Street is our economy. Well, if that is the case, all of those fat cats need to hit refresh. Because the former middle class worker is becoming desperate to survive. Desperate people do desperate things. The government knows this and they are getting ready for massive civil unrest. We thought the LA and Detroit riots were devastating? Those were small potatoes compared to what is in store for our nation. Our way of life is no life at all. We are on a treadmill leading to no where. I say we start all over again from scratch. I declare the 230 year old experiment a failure. I say we rewrite a new constitution that gives the people the job of our traitorous government. They have divided us along any line they could find in order to provide cover for the fat cats to run off with the goods. George Carlin was oh so correct when he stated "The rich and powerful of this nation own you. You have no freedom. You think you do when you fight over these petty ideas like guns, religion and abortion. You need to wake up and rise up and take back this great nation." And by the way; having a president is so out of fashion.
    An Ashamed Veteran

    July 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  155. NN

    This Country has survived worst things than a recession or the negativity of insignificant Hatriotic ideology of some groups who want to "un-Americanize" those who do not wear a stupid pin on their suit....

    I am a Naturalized American Citizen and America celebrates all those who have helped form it, regardless of background.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  156. Kristy

    Yes I feel patriotic as always! America is great because of what we stand for "the constitution and bill of rights" which are correct and true principles. It is about educated people adhering to these principles. It has nothing to do with race or culture.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  157. Turner

    Of course, I feel as patriotic as before. Just because the nation is in trouble and our leaders continue to fail us doesn’t mean we lose our patriotism. Do you lose pride and hope in a child when he or she brings home bad grades? No, you work harder to mend their ways. Be true and blue and be involved.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  158. John

    Jack –

    America having problems infront of us is not new. We have been faced with wars, natural disasters, economic collapses, impeachments, and so much more. Patriotism to me is the belief that despite all of our problems, that we as a strong enough people to over come them. This Sunday don't all celebrate all we have accomplished, I celebrate all that we are capable of accomplishing.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  159. TammyB

    I think, in some way, I feel just as patriotic as I used to, knowing what our country can be and in some ways, still is. I know we are broke, I know this is a time of high unemployment, and problems, however, I know we have been through this all before and have come out even stronger. I try to remain optimistic, and try to remember that Americans are a people that may have hard times, but we always seem to prevail as a nation. I have fears about our future as well, however, I try to remain ever the optimist as my American ancestors did in their time!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  160. Jim

    The relationship between a Citizen and his/her country is like a marriage. It's a give and take, and like in marriage, you can always leave and find some other country to live in. As for me, she's 234 but I think she doesn’t look a day over 230.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  161. ~BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa~

    No, I'm feeling more patriotic all the time. These past 520 days, give or take, have made us happy, & proud of our Country again. We have another brilliant Democrat as President, who is getting things done. Those 8 years in between seemed to last forever, but a new day has dawned; a day with health care reform, so sick children are finally allowed to go to the doctor, & receive treatment – better late than never. It won't help the countless children who have died, because they couldn't be insured. Women must now be paid as much as men. (What took so long?) This coming April, Americans will pay THE LOWEST TAX RATES SINCE THE 1950s!

    Do you feel like celebrating yet? If not, go online, & find out how many improvements have been made since 2009. Think about how lucky we are to have President Obama in our corner, instead of dwelling on the past; the mistakes made by Republicans, that we're still suffering for. How patriotic were you feeling in 2008? Did you feel more like celebrating then?

    You just don't know when you've got it good. President Obama was a Community Organizer, & a CIVIL RIGHTS lawyer, because he cares about people, & wants to help them in every way, & as much as possible. We're feeling more patriotic every day.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  162. Susan

    Shame on you Jack! I lost my job 2 months ago, my father was diagnosed with cancer two days ago. The situation stinks, but I don't give up hope. We could be a helluva lot worse off than we are...we could be living in Haiti. Maybe that's the problem here, we've had it too good for so long, we're spoiled, and unappreciative of the blessings we have. I'd still rather be here than anywhere else. Do I get angry? Of course I do, but I don't sit on my behind whining about it, I get up and DO something. I can't find a job, but I decided to open my own business, no matter how humble, or difficult it might be. Where else could you be afforded the same opportunity? People need to join together, stop worrying about who's left and right, blue or red, and remember we're ALL Americans. And....if you don't like it here, I'm sure there are a few people in Mexico who would be happy to trade places with you!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  163. Brian

    Obama surely doesn't make you feel patriotic --thats for sure. his thinking is not american. He wants everyone to be on the same page and that's not the american way. WE LEAD. HE APOLOGIZES. The last 4 letter of Democrats is "RATS". Republican ends in "I CAN"

    July 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  164. AL Brown

    Jack,
    I'm a 73 year old optimist and consider myself a patriotic American. It's too bad that members of congress don't have the same ideology. It's time to clean house from top to bottom and elect people who will abide by the constitution of this country.
    Al Brown
    Gorham,NH

    July 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  165. john

    Jack,

    I'm patriotic but less so than before. I wonder where this country will end up. Obama has lied to us and continues not to represent us. It's our country so how did we let this happen? What will we do to turn it around and save before this self-appointed fool does even more damage?

    July 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  166. Rory in Hagerstown, MD

    Of course I feel just a patriotic as I always did. When I hear the Star Spangled Banner, I still get goosebumps, because I understand the history leading up to it, words and the why and how it was written. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for our current elected officials and their performance. Don't confuse patriotism with political disdain, and a sincere desire to recall all elected officials and start over with average citizens. You know, the type of folks that use common sense, know how to balance a budget, know how to prioritize, and of course really do know how to lead.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  167. Otto

    Your statement:
    On July 4, 1776, our nation's founders approved the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia and the greatest nation in the history of mankind was born.

    This is true for all Americans but would you feel bad or sad if persons of other nations disagree with you? "The Greatest" as you mentioned is only in terms of economics because America is the largest consumer. You'll have to state clearly your reasons for saying America the greatest nation on Earth was born.

    In terms of history, America is but a child and have a long way to go but we are getting there slowly but surely. Same could be said of Turkey or Spain, England and many other nations. I'd say, America has the greatest people who in times of hardship, rally to help those less fortunate. We remember the out pouring of Americans to Haiti recently, WHY? because America is simply the world. Americans have roots in every nation on Earth.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |