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View Diary: The best book this cycle (212 comments)

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  •  I'd say that's exactly right (none)
    The authoritative vs. authoritarian describes exactly what I've observed.

    In a political sense, one thing I've noticed is when I visit a conservative board, the first thing I must do is establish my own patriotism. It seems like a contradiction to them that liberalism and patriotism can be partners. To them, patriotism is a blind faith thing, a badge of honor, completely without intellectual reflection. Whereas for me it's an actual personal emotion, something that grew from my study of American history, personal respect and admiration for the philosophical roots of the Constitution and the courage and political genius of the founding fathers. They are very suspicious of my claim that I am motivated against this administration by a desire not to see these basic principles abused and undermined. I don't get the impression that this line of thinking has ever been part of what they consider patriotism.

    It does indeed remind me of what differentiates my parenting instincts. I set very high expectations for schoolwork and for them behaving in a principled manner, but I do it out of an emotional core of believing in what's good in them. I approach patriotism the same way. My neighbor (who is incidentally quite dumfounded by my Kerry signs) had the same expectations for her kids, but seemed to always expect them to screw up and was vigilantly suspicious of them. She also seems not to know what to make of my broken-home, non church going kids doing so well in school, sports and community activism. It just doesn't fit for her, but nothing has shaken her core beliefs. Not even her kid getting local headlines for his fuckups.

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