My blogging will be light to nonexistent today. However, before this flu knocked me off my pins, I had put together a few thoughts about patriotism, which you can read at American Thinker.
UPDATE: Like death and taxes, it is inevitable that, when I write about something, someone smarter and better informed than I will write about it too. Although he doesn’t frame it in terms of “patriotism”, Michael Medved’s column today tackles the same question about pride in America vs. embarrassment about our country:
Contemporary followers of Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill view the entire American experience as a disgrace, even a crime. They stress the nation’s guilt in committing “genocide” against Native Americans, enslaving millions of Africans, stealing Mexican land, despoiling the pristine environment, oppressing working people everywhere, and blocking progressive change with an imperialist foreign policy. One Jake Irvin of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington recently told the Wall Street Journal: “My political belief is that the U.S. is a horrendous empire that needs to end.”
In contrast, the radicals and revolutionaries of the past cloaked themselves in patriotic symbols and proclaimed their desire to call the nation back to its own highest ideals. From Eugene V. Debs and Norman Thomas to Paul Robeson and Abbie Hoffman, these agitators proudly quoted Jefferson, Lincoln, or Tom Paine, and agreed with the nation’s mainstream that Americanism (at least as they defined it) represented the “last, best hope of earth.” Even the Communist Party USA unblushingly honored national heroes: when they dispatched their fighters to support fellow Stalinists in the Spanish Civil War, the volunteers called themselves “The Abraham Lincoln Brigade” not the “Vladimir Lenin Brigade.” Stalin’s personal friend Paul Robeson achieved mainstream popularity with his “Ballad for Americans,” treating the Revolutionary War as a heroic struggle – not a malevolent conspiracy by greedy slaveholders (as it’s often portrayed today).
Today’s radicals feel embarrassed by the leftwing flag-waving of 70 years ago, and insist that Americans should feel guilty rather than proud of their nation’s past and its role in the world.