October 15, 2008


Don Boudreaux, in a recent letter written in response to a WaPO article about McCain's long on appeals to patriotism ("What McCain Hasn't Tried," October 13), quotes H. L. Mencken:
"Patriotism, though it is based upon the natural and indeed instinctive love of home, has been elevated in the modern world into an unparalleled congeries of imbecilities. What it demands of the individual citizen, as a practical matter, is that he yield not only his judgment but also his property and even his life to whatever gang of scheming politicians happen to be in power."
Indeed! Jefferson also said it best* ..."Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" but try telling that to the Bush administration. (Or in the words of Wendy Kaminer: "Patriotism does not oblige us to acquiesce in the destruction of liberty. Patriotism obliges us to question it, at least."

* Apparently, he did not say it!! Nadine Strossen, who was President of the ACLU in the early 90s may have said it in 1991, Howard Zinn also said it again more recently and
Dorothy Hewitt Hutchinson may have said it in the 1960s!

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