Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Liberal patriotism and consevative patriotism

Peter Beinart on Time.com, as quoted by the Blogometer:
Conservatives know America isn't perfect, of course. But they grade on a curve. ... When evaluating America, they're more likely to remember that for most of human history, tyranny has been the norm. By that standard, America looks pretty good. Conservatives worry that if Americans don't appreciate -- and celebrate -- their nation's past accomplishments, they'll assume the country can be easily and dramatically improved. And they'll end up making things worse. ... If conservatives tend to see patriotism as an inheritance from a glorious past, liberals often see it as the promise of a future that redeems the past. ... For liberals, America is less a common culture than a set of ideals about democracy, equality and the rule of law. American history is a chronicle of the distance between those ideals and reality. And American patriotism is the struggle to narrow the gap. Thus, patriotism isn't about honoring and replicating the past; it's about surpassing it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Descartes said...

The trouble to me has always been that neither group seems to live in the real world that the rest of live in. Of course, that is the real American way-350 million private little universes.

7:28 AM, July 03, 2008  
Anonymous Crian said...

That's so true Descartes, but it's a great thing in a way that all 300+ million people believe in their own reality. It's sort of a hopeful thing.

9:32 PM, July 04, 2008  

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