Patriotism rears its dubious head during every political campaign, and doubly so during a presidential one. Why one would expect a non-particle person to even contemplate running for president is beyond me, but it seems that proving one is patriotic is de rigueur to run for office.
Of course, patriotism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Samuel Johnson said, famously, that "patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels," and one is reminded of that constantly when the right wing nabobs raise the issue.
When Michelle Obama said she was proud of her country for the firs time, anybody with an IQ over their actual age could've figured out that it was not to be taken literally and that she was talking about the sea change inthe political process that has allowed a black man to reach the highest level of political candidacy.
But even if she wasn't, what difference does it make as to her husband's ability to hold office? Does one's spouse's opinions, or even patriotism, matter? They should not. But even if her words are taken literally, does it mean that being not proud of one's country is being unpatriotic?
I would contend that, after eight years of the worst administration and president in this country's history, if you're not ashamed, you're not patriotic.
We have a president who has repeatedly lied to us and a vice-president thinks he's above the law.
We have appointed prosecutors and judges based on their political beliefs and who are pressured into politically-motivated actions
We have the heads of several agencies suppressing science in the name of the administration's received wisdom.
We are spying without warrants, and racially profiling citizens in the name of security.
We're torturing people in the name of the law; from Anne Marie Slaughter's article:
We still have a long way to go. Just this week we were told once again that the interrogation practices that some of our interrogators have been using against detainees were techniques that the Chinese practiced on our own soldiers during the Korean War. We long denounced these techniques as torture, until some of our government lawyers, to our eternal shame, decided that "torture" required imminent death or organ failure. Acknowledging that shame in no way in no way diminishes us as a country or a people. It is simply the necessary first step toward setting things right. That is a process, fueled by honesty and self-criticism, that we can be proud of
Why would YOU be proud of this record?
What's to be proud of is that the resiliency of the system is present and it's self-correcting, and has brought us to the brink of electing a moderate (though ex-progressive) black Democrat.
Now let's celebrate that!