I was just reading something where someone criticized the President and followed it with a sarcastic "forgive me for being unpatriotic". That cheesed me off. Why? because patriotism is love of your nation, not necessarily love of it's leaders. See?
Patriotism: Love of and devotion to one's country
In the "old world" this did indeed carry over to mean the royalty. L'etat, c'est moi? An antiquated, un-American concept. A French concept. (Eat that, Freedom Fries lovers!)
A driving purpose behind the U.S.A.'s founding fathers was that the country was governed by it's people - all it's people, not just the elected representatives. *sigh*, OK, I have to include my usual disclaimer that they didn't really think about all the people, they were really only thinking about the white, landowning males, but they still had the whole elected representative thing going on!
Every once in a while, I just have to write this stuff down. Yes, we have an elected President who's supposed to run things while he's in office. He is, however, just a man, and just in office for a specific amount of time. He's representing our country, but he does not define it. TO be against the President is not necessarily anti-American. We're allowed to have political opinions, and we're encouraged to involve ourselves in our government, and through official, pre-established channels, work for the agenda that we think would make the U.S. a better place to live.
Having an opinion about how your country should be run is as patriotic an action as I can imagine. No, it's not as obvious as holding up a gun at our enemies, but if the only people who cared about the way things were being run were the people already doing the job, we'd be a different nation.
What was it that Lincoln said? "Of the people, by the people, for the people?" Yeah, I think that was it. Nothing about "Of the people, by the people, for the President", as far as I remember.