Friends, Foes & Countrymen
Michael E. Bailey on the Problem of Patriotism
My subject is an embarrassing one for the educated and sophisticated, people like professors, college administrators, the editors and writers of the major magazines and newspapers, and those who produce our movies. It takes more courage among the sophisticated in the Academy and elsewhere to state without qualification that you love America than to declare yourself friendly to the United Nations, the idea of world government, or the ideals of socialism.
The key words here are, of course, "without qualification." It is perfectly acceptable to praise America—even in the Academy—as long as you make absolutely clear that what you are praising is not America as she presently is but America as she can be. Praising the idea and ideals of America, in fact, requires that we temper our love of America as she presently is.