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Patriotism redux

Friday, May 7, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:12 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Taking pictures of fallen soldiers arriving home is either patriotic or an inappropriate invasion of military families’ privacy. Just what exactly is patriotism? Sockdolager combed the archives of history to learn how others have defined love for country.

“If your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.” RONALD REAGAN

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!” ALBERT EINSTEIN

“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for other people other than your own comes first.” CHARLES DE GAULLE

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m patriotic enough. Yes, I want to kill people, but on both sides.” JACK HANDY • Deep Thoughts

“Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.” GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

“Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.” OSCAR WILDE

“Patriotism varies, from a noble devotion to a moral lunacy.” WILLIAM RALPH INGE

“The brave man inattentive to his duty is worth little more to his country than the coward who deserts her in the hour of danger.” ANDREW JACKSON

“When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON

“The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.” LADY BIRD JOHNSON

“My affections were first for my country, then, generally, for mankind.” THOMAS JEFFERSON

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” GEORGE WASHINGTON

“Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” SAMUEL JOHNSON

“Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.” BERTRAND RUSSELL

“The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher standard.” GEORGE MCGOVERN

“Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” ADLAI STEVENSON

“Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.” HENRY STEELE COMMAGER • historian

“A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works.” BILL VAUGHAN • journalist “You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” MALCOLM X

“This is not a time for remarks like that.” ARI FLEISCHER

former White House press secretary “Patriotism has a lot to do with the success of the show.” GEORGE PEPPARD Actor

“It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.” ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

“If war is truly worth fighting, then the burdens of doing so should fall on all Americans. If you support this war, but assume that Pat Tillman and Other People’s Children should fight it, then you are worse than a hypocrite. If it’s not worth your family fighting it, then it’s not worth it, period.” WILLIAM BROYLES JR. The New York Times, May 4, 2004


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