If you love your country, don't leave it. Stay and fix it. Make it better.
Blind love for a country or anything is no love at all.
The true patriot doesn’t ignore his country’s defects. The true patriot doesn’t abandon his country because things aren’t right. The true patriot stays and fights and complains and yells and screams and demands change for the better. The true patriot recognizes that the path to a better future starts with admitting what is wrong today and having a plan for change. The true patriot says things that are uncomfortable for the rest of us to hear. We have problems. We aren’t’ perfect. We need to change. The true patriot doesn’t celebrate myths. The true patriot tells the truth even when it hurts.
Love it or leave it? I hope not. If you really love this country, don’t leave it and don’t just stay and pretend it is perfect when you know it isn’t. Make it better. Make the rest of us make it better. That’s what love of country is really all about.
Senator Carl Schurz, Wisconsin
“I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”—Schurz, “The Policy of Imperialism,” Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz, vol. 6, pp. 119–20 (1913).