There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad ones are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover's quarrel with their country, a reflection of God's lover's quarrel with all the world.
The Rev. William Sloane Coffin
I love my country. So do many people I know (or know of) with whom I disagree. All of us who love our country are patriotic. And there is more than one way to do it.
However, just like I want my beloved humans to be the best they can be, so I want that for my country. Being mindless and going along with those who do not have the good of everyone at heart (and in their plans) falls in the first category. Hating all politicians and wanting to throw all the bums out falls in the second.
Politics is a career. It is not something that Joe, The Plumber (or I) can step in and do. Certainly, not do well, anyway.
When I was younger, I probably fell more in the second category. Now, I have a lover's quarrel going on. And I am trying not to let those who woo the first category mess us all up.