July 15th, 2004

Apollo 4 on column of fire

"Patriotism"

Al Franken has, I believe, characterized the love of a jingoistic Bush supporter for his or her country to the love of a child for her parents, where this is supposed to mean "unconditional" affection. That can be checked with Google, but it doesn't matter, because I am writing just to explain my disagreement with the analogy.

The love of such a jingoist is not unconditional. Rather it is too conditional: their love for the country and its actions is conditional on the presence of Bush and the absence of Clinton or Gore. The same action of George W. Bush that they support, for example the occupation of Iraq, they would vehemently oppose if the occupation were instigated by William J. Clinton.

The love of a jingoistic Bush supporter is like the love of a gang member for his gang. They see themselves as the Bush gang, and we liberal-minded Americans are seen as an opposition gang.

Roughly speaking, of course.