The Proud Duck
Monday, May 24, 2004
Glenn Reynolds, on Instapundit:
"I'm not a "my country, right or wrong," guy. But I do think that if patriotism means anything it means giving one's own country the benefit of the doubt -- of which, in the case of this war, there's not really much need for -- and that the people I was discussing in that post are doing quite the opposite and adopting a "my country -- of course it's wrong" attitude. To root for your own country's defeat is to separate yourself from its polity, to declare it not worth saving or preserving, to declare the lives of its soldiers less important than your own principles. It's not always wrong, but it's a very a drastic step, as drastic as deciding to mount a revolution, really, and yet it's often taken by superficial people for superficial -- and, as in this case, tawdry and self-serving -- reasons.
If Bush really were Hitler, it would be different. A Nazi America wouldn't be worth saving, and its polity would be worth separating oneself from. But we're so far from that situation, as Young herself notes, that such discussions are entirely academic, and those who are rooting against America in Iraq have hardly demonstrated the moral courage and personal sacrifice that such a serious step demands, if it is to be taken seriously. If Bush is really Hitler, is filing slanted copy a sufficient response? But the real problem isn't that Bush is Hitler -- just that he's a Republican, which puts a very different face on things. I don't think that Young is one of those Libertarians who denounces the very concept of patriotism, but (though I could have been clearer in my post, I guess, but this seemed painfully obvious to me) I think that she should have thought this column through a bit more."
I reached a similar conclusion a while ago. A patriot is a friend of his country. A true friend doesn't rush with unseemly haste to believe the worst of his friend.