Trump’s presidency has already caused some Americans to discover the full depth of their own patriotic feelings. Yaël Eisenstat, a former CIA analyst and national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, has seen a “patriotic fervor” rising among Americans, who have realized how much they have to lose under Trump. Such sentiments have led many to engage for the first time in familiar forms of political action such as turning out for protests, calling elected officials or signing petitions.
Yet patriotic reactions of a less traditional or more intimate sort, while not yet tracked by polling, also deserve our attention. Some individuals are deciding not to pursue professional opportunities abroad to be here in our country’s time of need; others burst into tears when they hear a street musician play the Star Spangled Banner, or simply upon hearing a pilot announce “welcome to the United States of America” when returning from abroad.