Respect is earned, not given, no matter what it is.
A parent doesn't get respect unless he/she does a good job as a parent. Having sex and nature throwing you a baby doesn't = you get respect for being a dad or a mom, you must be a good parent and earn your right to have the respect that an actual good, real parent gets.
A country and the government is the same way. It must earn respect, respect is not thrown around to anything and everything "just because", it must be earned.
There are A LOT of people (just look on this board alone and you can find some) in this country that are not happy in many, many, many things that it is doing. They are not happy with the laws, with the way it is being run, with the people running it. Blind respect and patriotism is ridiculous, in my opinion, such things must have a reason and must be earned, a reason to be proud, other than just lucking out and by chance being born on a certain section of rock.
Not just that, but people are into so many things these days. From new tech (like phones, ipods, ipads, games, etc) to social outlets (which go hand in hand with tech) and these social connection things are actually making people think a lot more, opening them up to many different life styles and ways of thinking, therefore becoming much more independent and not accepting whatever praise/respect a government (or parent, for example) throws at them. They make up their own mind as to what to believe in/respect/give praise to.
I don't care for the national anthem or any such thing, for a mix of all the above, and simply because I find blind respect/pride in anything to be utterly ridiculous, whether it be patriotic pride, the pride of a parent, taking credit for something you didn't earn, etc. I feel - everything - should be earned when it comes to respect/pride, and for me personally, I don't feel anymore proud to be an American than I would being a Canadian, or an Australian, etc, and I don't show those two countries respect and all that, the same way I don't America.
I pay my taxes which is the agreement from me to the state/country, to let me keep living here. I pay my due to them, I give them part of my hard earned money to keep their country going, and that is the level of my commitment to them, nothing more nothing less.
Anywho, that's my view on it.
Could NOT have said it better myself. Glad to know I'm not alone on this. I hate that notion that "we are the greatest country on earth" horse-shit. Really? Why? Because people keep spouting the same thing over & over, so if it's repeated enough times... Well hell, it MUST be true then, right?
Wrong. The only way ANYONE can claim ANY country they live in is "the greatest country on earth" - is if they've had the opportunity to live in each country on earth, thereby making their claim to whichever country they chose to be the "greatest" hold some actual ****in weight and be a LEGITIMATE claim - it's all ****in opinion anyway. Otherwise to hell with that bullshit. Buncha ****in nonsense.