by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
David Marcus of the Federalist responds to a recent New York Times column suggesting that Democrats need to change their attitudes about patriotism.
There is certainly no shortage of evidence to suggest that pride in America is not a central plank of the American left just at the moment. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently remarked that America was never that great, the National Football League protests take place during the national anthem, and Antifa protesters recently ripped the American flag from a more moderate liberal protester at a rally. …
… This rhetorical shift is a danger for Democrats. It plays very well in certain bubbles where they have great success, but in the broader country it seems to fall flat. …
… One cannot imagine Obama or any major Democratic politician that came before him saying America was never that great. Until very recently, no Democrat would ever have suggested that America is a bad actor in the world in any significant way, or that its history has not promoted the greater good. This is clearly no longer the case.
Can Democrats find a way to express pride in America and its past while still maintaining their basic criticisms? In theory, this should be pretty easy. It would come down to, “I criticize America because I love America, and there is nothing more American than our freedom to criticize it to make it better.” The only thing that complicates this approach is that many in the modern Democratic Party really do seem to hold some beliefs antithetical to the vision of America’s founders that were not present a decade or two ago.