Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
“…Meanwhile, here’s Thomas Jefferson weighing in: “Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment…But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.”…”
For the ignorant out there, those words were spoken by Samuel Johnson on the evening of April 7, 1775, or so his biographer, James Boswell wrote. If you don’t know who Samuel Johnson and James Boswell were, look it up.
“…In the 1770s, Johnson, who had tended to be an opponent of the government early in life, published a series of pamphlets in favour of various government policies. In 1770 he produced The False Alarm, a political pamphlet attacking John Wilkes. In 1771, his Thoughts on the Late Transactions Respecting Falkland’s Islands cautioned against war with Spain. In 1774 he printed The Patriot, a critique of what he viewed as false patriotism. On the evening of 7 April 1775, he made the famous statement, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” This line was not, as widely believed, about patriotism in general, but the false use of the term “patriotism” by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (the patriot-minister) and his supporters; Johnson opposed “self-professed Patriots” in general, but valued what he considered “true” patriotism….”
Samuel Johnson had little respect for the American Colonists who were rebelling against England. As the leading intellectual of the day, he was the educated version of Franklin. Looking at the “rebellion” from a British point of view, he felt the colonists were false patriots.
“…The last of these pamphlets, Taxation No Tyranny (1775), was a defence of the Coercive Acts and a response to the Declaration of Rights of the First Continental Congress of America, which protested against taxation without representation. Johnson argued that in emigrating to America, colonists had “voluntarily resigned the power of voting”, but they still had “virtual representation” in Parliament. In a parody of the Declaration of Rights, Johnson suggested that the Americans had no more right to govern themselves than the Cornish people. If the Americans wanted to participate in Parliament, said Johnson, they could move to England and purchase an estate. Johnson denounced English supporters of American separatists as “traitors to this country”, and hoped that the matter would be settled without bloodshed, but that it would end with “English superiority and American obedience”. Years before, Johnson had advocated that the English and the French were just “two robbers” who were stealing land from the natives, and that neither deserved to live there. After the signing of the 1783 Peace of Paris treaties, marking the colonists’ defeat of the British, Johnson was “deeply disturbed” with the “state of this kingdom”….”
The Pink Flamingo delves into the history of the origin of the American Revolution primarily because I consider many of the people who are walking around demanding the Constitution be read and worshiped, and preaching their false history of our founding nothing but fakes. Johnson had the right idea. They are scoundrels.
“….What were the political issues of the day, and what were Johnson’s thoughts around that point in time? Well, by that time he had already published his famous political pamphlets of the 1770’s, including The False Alarm (1770) and The Patriot (1774). He had also published the fourth edition of his Dictionary, wherein he’d added an explanatory remark to his definition of “patriotism”. In both the first and fourth editions, he’d defined “patriot” as “One whose ruling passion is the love of his country.” In the fourth edition, Johnson added: “It is sometimes used for a factious disturber of the government.” From the original 1755 definition, repeated in 1773, as well as comments in Johnson’s various pamphlets, it’s clear that Johnson felt that patriotism was a valuable feeling, one which shouldn’t be taken lightly. All scoundrels may resort to patriotism, but this doesn’t mean that everyone who expresses patriotic sympathies are automatically scoundrels….”
Just because a person is carrying a copy of the Constitution in his pocket or her purse does not make him/her a patriot. It doesn’t make him/her anything but an exhibitionist. They are not much better than fake preachers holding out their hands for money.
“…POCKET PROTECTOR — For the new Congress, the must-have accessory isn’t an iPad or a Kindle. It’s a 3.25-by-6.25-inch pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution. A growing number of lawmakers are carrying the tiny copies in suit jackets and in their cars, a response in part to tea-party complaints that Congress has lost sight of the country’s founding document. Standing outside the House speaker’s lobby, Rep. Billy Long (R., Mo.) reached into his back pocket and pulled out a worn-looking maroon edition with folded corners. “Like a horse, it’s rode hard and put away wet.” The 224-year-old government road map has become a potent political symbol akin to the flag pin, and one that’s hard to reject, even for lawmakers who don’t necessarily sign on to tea-party ideas….”
Sorry, but this is crap.
George Washington once said: “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”
Anyone can carry a copy of the Constitution in their pocket. What you do with it is the important thing. This reminds me of a bunch of TV preachers crying, their mascara running as they cry out that they have sinned. All the while they hold out their Bibles, thumping them, quoting scripture day and night.
That’s all fine and good, but how many TV preachers actually gave a rip about
The Internet is full of such euphemistic headlines such as:
The Constitution Is Back
How I Learned to Stop Hating the Constitution and Learned to Live With It
The Constitution for Liberal Dummies
The Constitution for Tea Party Idiots
Somewhere Over the Constitution
Gunfight at the Constitution Corral
Constitution Over Miami
Mr. Constitution Goes to Washington
How the Constitution Was Won
I Left My Constitution in San Francisco
Born in the Constitution
Where the Constitutions Are
How to Murder the Constitution
Constitution Grit… and so forth and so on.
Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote the following dribble for PJ Media:
“…So here we are again, after 223 years, having a national consciousness-raising event with the U.S. Constitution as the star player. “Comeback” is actually too mild a word….Our constitutional reawakening has been a feat to behold and one that has brought great solace to liberty-lovers all over the land. That’s why everyone who is anyone ought to hail the Tea Parties for turning America’s eyes to the comeback kid of the century…..”
In the increasingly tea bloated American Thinker there is a commentary about Dems behaving badly over the reading of the constitution.
“...I continue to be astonished by the reaction of the political Left to the Republican House majority’s decision to begin the 112th Congress by reading the Constitution on the floor. This has been mocked by the New York Times (whose business depends on the First Amendment) as “theatrical pomposity” and “fundamentalism.” Today, Salon’s Michael Lind opined that we ought to stop treating the Constitution as “sacred.”…”
Two things are going on here. First, the Democrats are having a snit fit because they lost. It isn’t about the Constitution, it is about the fact that in the great poker game of politics, they blew it. So they are behaving typically. The right shouldn’t be too nasty about all of this, complaining, because they’ve spent two years demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate, and getting drunk on tea leaves.
It has NOTHING to do with weather or not liberals do or don’t believe in the Constitution and cherish its values. They do. The person I know who most adores and loves and cherishes the Constitution is a very liberal Dem. He lives and breathes it. For the far right to go around saying that Dems don’t cherish the Constitution is just plain foolish.
They are lying.
For liberals to go around saying that conservatives tend to think that they have the inside scope on things is true.
For the far right and tea party idiots to say that the Constitution is sacred is just plain wrong. We do not worship the Constitution. The Constitution is a tool. It is the foundation of our way of life, a foundation block of freedom, but it is far from sacred.
“..I’ve spent a great amount of time over the past 18 months among Tea Party activists, interviewing many. I’ve talked to Americans from different regions of the country — old and young, rich and poor, black and white, union and non-union. To be sure, there is among Tea Partiers a mountain of economic angst and disgust for both parties’ profligate ways. But the real glue that holds all these disparate folks together — the reason they will not just go away — is their bedrock respect for the Constitution.
It has not been lost on this monumental grassroots movement that lawmakers of both political parties have either ignored or defied constitutional limits on their powers for going on a century now. And for those taking to the streets in protest, our government’s growing tyranny is the primary driver of disgust. Suddenly, Americans are buying and carrying around pocket copies of the nation’s treasured document. All across the land, ordinary citizens are attending classes on the Constitution.
And, due entirely to all-American Tea Party activism, everyone who is anyone is talking and writing about the U.S. Constitution. One would need to be a ninny living under a big rock in the San Francisco Bay not to notice that on every network the Constitution has become the topic du jour. One would need blinders the size of Mount Rushmore not to see that Constitutional commentary has become downright ubiquitous in both the dead-tree media and the new media….”
The far right, tea parties, losertarians, and extreme conservatives are not the only people who love and cherish the Constitution. To assume otherwise is intellectually dishonest. It is also dishonorable.
Just because a person disagrees with your interpertation of the Constitution is not an indication that they are not a patriot, or less patriotic than someone who is a conservative.
To simply carry a copy of the Constitution around with you is bunk, plain and simple. It does not indicate how much a person loves their country. It is more for show than anything else, like someone who is always seen with a Bible they never bother reading.
I feel sorry for people who don’t understand the difference, and those who seek to silence those who disagree. The ones who usually want to do the silencing are those who harp on the Founders and their own personal devotion to the Constitution.
It is rather sad.
Their very act of damning someone who disagrees, wanting to silence them, to get them thrown out of office, of ridicule and character assassination violates the very document they cherish.
Guess they haven’t read it after all.