Is Patriotism Worth Preserving?

Commentary Mention the term “patriot” or “patriotism” on a university campus or in educated circles and you are likely to hear Samuel Johnson’s barb that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Or maybe you will hear E.M. Forster’s comment that if he had to betray either his country or his friend, he hoped he would have the guts to betray his country. This is not to say that patriotism in on the verge of disappearance, but it has come to seem ethically challenged in today’s cancel culture. Yet once you leave any urban environment, it is not hard to find people with no reservations about their love of country who are willing to express it on bumper stickers on cars or trucks, in bars and diners, and in houses of worship. The problem is that the country they profess to love is often at odds with what many …

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