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When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Tuesday - July 01, 2008

A most excellent comment

Following the Insta-lanche over to Protein Wisdom, I found this comment near the top of the pile on Jeff’s post about the Oh So Patriotic Obama speech that we all ignored for the bullshit that it is.
I’ve never actually posted on a comment before, but the fine lady, fellow Scorpio, non-bleeding heart, and possible tech geek (cool!!!) who runs Dicentra’s Garden wrote a real winner, and I mean that in the bestest possible way:

# 22

Comment by dicentra on 6/30 @ 3:24 pm #

Patriotism. Crap, I guess I’ll have to drag out my thoughts on What Patriotism Is. And Ain’t.

Because there are various strains of patriotism, and we’re probably not all talking about the same thing when we use the word. To wit:

Nostalgic Patriotism — This is the type of patriotism that arises from your emotional connection to your homeland. It is not related to political philosophy or system of government; it’s just the natural attachment to Home. It’s the kind of patriotism displayed by the immigrant to the U.S., who loves the U.S. and all, but who hangs a flag from the home country in the living room as a reminder of those they left behind.

Home Team Patriotism — This type of patriotism is similar to a sports fan’s boosterism for the home team. It’s most often displayed at the Olympics, where you wear team colors and wave the team flag and scream your lungs out. Then when your team wins, you are also covered in glory.

This type of patriotism, in its ugliest form, takes on the jingoistic “my country, right or wrong” attitude represented by Frank Burns on M*A*S*H. It is revulsion for this charactature of Patriotism that causes people like Barack Obama to remove his flag lapel pin, calling it “false patriotism.”

Silly lefty: waving the flag and saying Go Team is not the same as jingoism; you’re just blinded by your disdain for Those People who DO wave the flag, and do it enthusiastically.

Ideological Patriotism — This type of patriotism might be unique to the United States, because it denotes loyalty to the Enlightenment ideals that are enshrined in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. The ideologically patriotic are loyal to those ideas no matter where they are found: on this piece of dirt, on dirt where they speak another language, dirt on the moon, if necessary.

This type of patriotism is what leads many if not most people to sign up for military service: to preserve the ideology that brought this nation into being and has kept it free and prosperous. Those who would replace the Enlightenment principles with others are considered to be unpatriotic on these grounds.

This type of patriotism is not incompatible with the previous two.

Idealistic Patriotism — This type of patriotism denotes loyalty to How Things Could Be, If Only We Got The Right People In Charge. It is not a desire to destroy the country but to pull it forward, just as the Founders pulled us forward from Monarchy.

However, this type of patriotism does not necessarily denote loyalty to the Enlightenment principles that are enshrined in our founding documents and in fact often insists on leaving those principles behind, thus to honor the promise of A Better America.

(Especially an America that isn’t the planet’s big mean bully. I mean, crap, it’s embarrassing to be in the most powerful country when Everybody Knows that Powerful = Oppressive = Evil. If we’d just keep our stupid troops and industry and ideology to ourselves, Our Betters in Europe would discard the disdain they’ve held for us since 1620. Really. That would be good.)

This type of patriotism is almost always incompatible with Ideological Patriotism, and although it is not incompatible with the first two, may who adhere to this last type of patriotism do not care for what they see as “flag-waving jingoism.”

So if you want to accuse someone of being unpatriotic, you could at least specify which patriotic they’re not.

I leave it to my erudite readers to deconstruct the fluffy clouds that Idealistic Patriotism rests upon. And Ms. Dicentra was being sarcastic in between the parentheses, just so you know. But I think she has hit the nail on the head perfectly. I’ve never thought to categorize different kinds of patriotism before. I never even stopped to think that there might be different categories, or that some of them might be mutually exclusive. But she is absolutely correct. And if your patriotism is mostly of the Idealistic kind, I posit that you are no real patriot. At all. That means you Obama.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/01/2008 at 10:21 AM   
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