I think that one of America’s biggest problems right now comes directly from the way it views itself. Nationalism is more visible in our country than it has been in a long while, perhaps even since world war II. While I believe that national pride is by all means a good thing, like with all things, too much of it can become hurtful. Today, I think people see America as more of an object, whereas we should be looking at it as a group of people. This is where we derive the idea of disrespecting it when we kneel during the national anthem, or when we say that one party is more patriotic than the other. We’ve made America an object and in doing so, we’ve attached these intrinsic values to it, values like what we call patriotism. I feel that these values that we attach to this objectified idea of America don’t do anything to bring the country together, and instead have the opposite effect. This approach is no different than identity politics, it’s a product of harsh overgeneralization. Instead of viewing America as an object represented by a flag that can be”disrespected” we should look at America as what it really is, a group of people from radically different backgrounds. Instead of seeing the flag as something that can be disrespected, we should look at how we disrespect each other, as this is what really matters. No one gets directly hurt when someone kneels during the National Anthem, sure it may hurt our pride, but at the end of the day we’re still breathing, right? But when we disrespect each other, we not only hurt another person, we hurt the country as a whole as we destroy the bonds that hold it together. We need to stop objectifying America as some kind of symbolic icon, and we need to start personifying each other and seeing each other as what we really are: human beings.