5
Okt
2004

Defining patriotism and the misuse of the word

by Saritha Prabhu

Tennessean

10/04/04

One of the things I'm looking forward to after Nov. 2 is the relative cessation of patriotic talk. Patriotism has never had it so good as in this first election year after 9/11; the stuff is practically coming out of our ears.

We've seen former Sen. Max Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam combat, being labeled 'unpatriotic.' We've had John Kerry's patriotism being questioned by the Swifties.

Folks who have opposed the Iraq war have been called unpatriotic. And conversely, people who haven't been skeptical enough about some of the administration's policies have been called unpatriotic by some.

Meanwhile, true patriots must cringe a little in today's hyper-charged patriotic atmosphere -- a venue of 'Rambo patriotism,' as Roger Ebert put it. This is a patriotism that thrives on illogic and bluster and aims to cow all those with opposing views by branding them unpatriotic...

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Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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