Post #307: Reclaiming Patriotism

             In an interview August 12 on MSNBC, Dr. Anthony Fauci commented that one way to be patriotic is to get vaccinated.  That view prompted a thought I’ve been having for some time about the politics of patriotism: How the far right has appropriated patriotism while trampling it in practice, all without a clear response from liberals and progressives.  They, and the Biden administration, should take Fauci’s advice, build on it, and make it a feature of the Democrats’ appeal.

            For too long, Democrats have allowed right-wingers to fly the flag and pretend they are America’s patriots.  At the same time, Democrats have meekly watched while the far right portrays them as “leftists” and “socialists.”  That’s an old gambit, and it should be addressed directly.  Biden should not only denounce the red baiting; he should go on the offensive, proclaiming that true patriots don’t riot at the Capitol, don’t undermine our democracy, don’t engage in culture wars, and don’t uphold white supremacy.  True patriots want to expand the voting franchise, want social and economic justice, want to protect and preserve the Constitution.

            Biden should challenge the rightists, asking if they have recited the pledge of allegiance recently.  Do they believe its words—“one nation . . . with liberty and justice for all”?  (Donald Trump couldn’t even get the words right.)   Biden should call out the governors of Texas, Florida, and elsewhere, not just for their criminal neglect on public health, but also for their unpatriotic governing.  In short, he should be brutally frank: Parading the flag is superficial patriotism.  Real patriotism means being true to the American dream of liberty and justice—and respect for human rights, and a commitment to human security—for all.

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  1. Hi Mel,

    Let’s hope someone listens to your ideas.

    You should get a direct line to the WH!



  2. Dear Mel:

    I agree. But what am I to do, other than sign a petition or three: I am constantly deluged with folks like Vote Vets (A Portland OR group) Common Defense (A group of like-minded vets and their families and friends), About Face (Formerly Iraq veterans against the war); etc?\

    It’s all very frustrating; since those same right-wingers in their pick-up trucks don’t behave with respect towards “flag etiquette:” I don’t see them retiring the colors EVERY night, or to shine a light in the evening; the dildos.

    I didn’t realize that The Donald “couldn’t get the words right…”

  3. “Parading the flag is superficial patriotism. Real patriotism means being true to the American dream of liberty and justice—and respect for human rights, and a commitment to human security—for all.”

    Well said Prof. Gurtov!

    Best wishes, Pritam PRITAM KUMAR ROHILA Association for Communal Harmony


  4. Mel-Funny. I brought this up to the Florence Democrats during last election asking why was it that ,during my drive to Florence, I assume that all the displayed flags belong to Trump households. BECAUSE it is probably True.

      We need someone to do an ad (or whatever those things on YouTube are) aimed toward Democrats saying “it’s YOUR flag too.Fly it… Hope you folks are well and staying safe. Eric

  5. Hi Mel,

    This is excellent. Really wish Biden & his advisors & aides could read it, in fact all Dems in both houses & also his cabinet.

    I vote for having Mel Gurtov on Rachael Maddow & putting forth the below.


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