Re: Special Independence Day Edition (Will Wilkinson & Jonah Goldberg)
I was reminded of the quote by a friend of mine, a Green Beret who served in Vietnam, when I listened to this dialog. On being a patriotic American, he stated: "I am glad that I'm an American, but I'm not necessarily proud." And as one who loves history and has tried to study it with an open mind, I couldn't agree more. So, Will, I also strongly support your argument that patriotism is unhealthy for us as a nation. Patriotism or nationalism (and I don't differentiate) creates a bubble of thinking which eliminates the possibility of thoughtful, rational civic discussion especially when we need it most --think post 9/11...or the WWII Japanese internment camps, or the US concentration camps in the Philipines, or...choose a US "indiscretion" from history. Thus, for those thoughtful "patriotic" Americans who try to interject their voice opposing an American policy or action that they believe is counterproductive for our national security or that undermines our ideals, they are automatically branded as unpatriotic and their voices are simply silenced. Patriotism then becomes a tool for partisan or, as in the case of WWII Germany, dictatorial manipulation of the public will. Needless to say, I would love to see a more in-depth examination of this very critical topic explored more broadly by the media.