Is there some way that protest against a war  even during a time of war-can be considered patriotic? If yes give examples of how it can be patriotic.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that some of the strongest examples of patriotism might involve dissent.  Thinkers like Dr. King or Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Henry David Thoreau were passionate lovers of America and its possibilities.  Yet, they invoked a great deal of resistance and anger with their voices of dissent and their powers of persuasion to ensure that America was acting in the interests of the fulfillment of her ideals.  I think that protesting against a war can be seen as patriotic if it is done in the interests of securing a nation's ideals and vision.  There are times when being patriotic might involve speaking out if one's beloved country is engaging in a wrong path.  Certainly, American History is replete with examples of individuals who spoke out and sought change and this analysis with going against a war might possess some of the same ideas.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the reasons that people protest is because they are passionate about a certain cause. People have felt this way over every war that we have been involved in. The fact of the matter is that everyone has a different opinion and views things from different perspectives. If a person feels very strongly about involvement in a war it really doesn't matter if they support or oppose it. Either way they are being patriotic about it because they are doing it out of love their country.

Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke against the Vietnam War. He was concerned about America and its involvement. He was being patriotic by sharing his thoughts and opinions.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with the above answer.  I was going to say that there are forms of completely peaceful (and respectful, if you can imagine) protest that are still patriotic.  Slogans like, "Peace is patriotic," suggest that the best way to support our country is to promote peace.  I've seen bumper stickers that say something like, "Protect our troops.  Bring them home."

Again reiterating response 1: if it is a war you think we should not participate in (which many soldiers who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan would probably agree with this), then protesting it is still patriotic.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This totally depends on how you define patriotic.

I would say that protest can be patriotic if you believe that the war is one that your country should not be involved in.  If you love your country, you should want it to do the right thing.  Patriotism, in other words, means wanting your country to do what is right.

Imagine if you were in Nazi Germany.  What would have been patriotic?  Should you be in favor of their war or should you oppose it?  I would say that in that case the patriotic thing to do would be to oppose the war.


krishna-agrawala | Student

What is patriotic and what is unpatriotic is very much a subjective judgement. Although in periods of war there is a kind of surge in intolerance among government as well as general public towards anything which appears to be even slightly opposed to, or critical of, the official government action. Many a times such patriotic feelings are based more on national pride than long term national interests. Real criteria of patriotism is not just what people at a particular time think to be patriotic, but the intention of the person in acting in a particular way. If a person is acting with the objective of securing good of the country, he or she is definitely patriotic, irrespective of what others may think about him or her.

As a matter of fact, the person protesting against war during war time, with the intention of good of the country, is likely to be much more patriotic than the millions of people who protest against war in time of peace. A person protesting against war in war time risks a lot to secure national interest. While marches in protest against war during peace time may be doing this just as way of bringing exciting in life. Majority of such people may back out of such protest at the slightest hint of major personal risk.