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Big Patriotism vs. Small Patriotism

Bonnie Kristian writes about how Big Patriotism is poisoning America.

Excerpt:

Small patriotism is humble and open to constructive critique. Just as we would welcome an exterminator telling us our house has termites, so in small patriotism we can give a hearing to those who see some problem with our home. Big patriotism cannot hear a word against country, however gentle or wise. The best, by definition, cannot be wrong.

Small patriotism recognizes that there are many things more important than patriotism. It is a servant, not a master. It does not ask to be valued above more significant loyalties, like those to God or family or concrete community. Big patriotism demands pre-eminence. It fixates on symbols, ceremonies, and correct language, undermining honest debate. It polices allegiance to the state, sacralizing things that are very much mundane. Big patriotism is incessantly self-serious and therefore always on the brink of offense.

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