The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53662   Message #827448
Posted By: Don Firth
15-Nov-02 - 08:01 PM
Thread Name: BS: Mark Twain & Patriots Defined
Subject: RE: BS: Mark Twain & Patriots Defined
The standard bumper-sticker and the standard war-cry of the self-described "patriot" is the well-known "My country, right or wrong." That's incomplete. The full quote has been posted on various threads here many times, but it doesn't hurt to remind people (until they eventually get it) that the entire quote is "My country, right or wrong. My country, if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." (Usually attributed to a speech by Carl Schurz in the U.S. Senate. February 29, 1872).

One can hardly be faulted for having some kind of feeling for one's birthplace and the country in which one grew up. When it is attacked by those from the outside, it is natural to want to defend it. To do so is also to defend oneself.

But— "patriots" seem incapable of understanding that attacks can also come from within, from the most insidious enemy of all—internal corruption. It is as if this sort of "patriot" is saying "my body, right or wrong!" Then, when a doctor tells them they have a potentially fatal disease, they refuse to believe the doctor, regard him as an enemy, and refuse to let him attempt to cure them. They thereby become an ally of the very thing that will eventually kill them.

Don Firth