Boswell tells us that Samuel Johnson made the famous pronouncement that "Patriotism
is the last refuge of a scoundrel"
on the evening of April 7, 1775.
Shortly thereafter, some "scoundrels" set the United States of America adrift from the mother country, England.
Since then, Patriotism has had a checkered history, with current events largely
bearing out Samuel Johnson.
No greater collection of scoundrels has collected in so small a proximity as is currently the case.
But not just Washington, D.C. is afflicted.
It is just the Mecca for the high priesthood (Irony lost on anyone there?)
Yet out in the sticks, there are multitudinous loudmouths, hypocrites, hate-mailers and general losers
putting lie to and discrediting those freedoms given us by the Founding Fathers to express our beliefs freely.
The experiment of 1776 is one of the most noble and interesting experiments
in the history of humanity.
And yet today, we find it hijacked by corporations, billionaires and reality TV.
We have lost our focus and the irony is the above-mentioned interlopers have perfect focus.
Their focus is they want what is ours.
They want our freedom, they want our well-being, they want our security and they want our peace of mind.
They want these things specifically so they can sell them back to us!
Love of country is not a bad thing.
Justifying bad things for love of country is.
These two endeavors must be identified for what they are and separated.
Love of country is what makes the hairs rise on your neck when they play "The
Love of country is what makes young men (and now women) take up the sword and die for those ideals as countless Patriots have before them.
Love of country is what makes disenfranchised women march in sweltering sun to get the vote in the last century.
(This author's great-grandmother died of heatstroke in a Suffragette's March in 1906.)
Love of country may have motivated Edward Snowden to reveal excesses, reviled though he is in some quarters.
Doing bad things in the name of love of country should be outed for what it
Exploitation, felsehood, treason, error.
Yes, some people mistakenly do bad things for love of their country.
Should they be vilified?
If they persist.
If a rational explanation doesn't sway them, they still have the right of free speech.
However, it is not cloaked in the righteousness of the Founding fathers.
It just becomes stupid or self-serving.
So Patriotism is good. Patriotism is powerful.
Flags furling everywhere on the Fourth of July is a stirring sight.
And some Patriotism can be bad and sight must not be lost of that possibility lest we unquestioningly believe its proponent.
And have to buy back our freedom, our well-being, our security and our peace of mind.
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