The Left’s Idea Of “Patriotism”

Over at MyDD, Chris Bowers wrote a convoluted 1176 word piece trying to explain to his fellow liberals how he could be liberal and patriotic at the same time. In order to come up with a way that he can define himself as patriotic, he basically concludes that it’s OK for liberals to love America because it has no defined culture, and therefore you can pretend America is anything you want it to be instead of what it actually is in the real world. He also included this paragraph, which ostensibly is supposed to help convince people that liberals are just as patriotic as anyone else,

“Now, I know that some of you will think I am reifying a right-wing caricature of progressives by hesitating to personally self-identify as patriotic, and /or by implying that there are there is a tendency among a fairly substantial group of progressives to hesitate making such a self-identification. Let me just state that those caricatures of the left as unpatriotic as simply bullsh*t, and I don’t buy them for a second. Sure, sometimes when I self-identify as patriotic to some of my progressive friends, it can often result in wincing, muffled groans, or other signs of discomfort. The problem many progressive have with self-identifying as patriotic, however, is not what right-wingers believe it to be. Of course progressives love their country. Rather, the problem is based jointly on the common usage of the term “patriotism,” and on the cultural underpinnings of the contemporary middle and upper class progressivism that hesitates to self-identify with any form of fixed cultural identity.”

Oh sure, that’s what patriotic people do, isn’t it? They hesitate, “to personally self-identify as patriotic,” and then their “patriotic” liberal friends wince, groan, and make signs of discomfort when someone mentions that they love their country.

PS: Patriotism is a lot like heroism in the military. The left doesn’t really understand how to talk about that either (See Bowers for one example and John Kerry for the other). The people who are patriotic, like the people who were heroes in the military, don’t have to brag about it or convince people that’s what they’re all about. If you’re patriotic, it’ll show. If you were a hero, it will get out to people.

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