Thursday, March 10, 2005

Should American patriotic holidays be permitted?

Recently I read some comments from a neo-conservative blogger arguing that Americans need to return to a sort of "civic republicanism"; my own perspective is that this flag-waving "civic republicanism"' is, if not identical to nationalism (in a sense an irrational patriotism), quite close to it. It's quite a basic argument, though I guess the premises could be debated:

--If America's political leaders have been, since the inception of the Republic, guilty of committing political and military atrocities, then celebrations of American patriotism are not justifiable.

--America's political leaders are guilty of committing political and military atrocities over the last 229 years or so. (for instance, Founding Fathers were found to be racist, supporters of slavery, or dedicated to eradicating Native Americans, and the military injustly violated treaties, committed military blunders or outright brutalities which cost the lives of thousands in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, etc.)

--Thus celebrations of American patriotism (including parades, miltary celebrations, even President's, Memorial, Veteran's day) are not justifiable.

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