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    Added news   to  , Patriotism

    I do love American patriot Sam Adams.  He was a brawler and intellectual who passionately believed in the cause of liberty, while also understanding that strategic patience and persistent public agitation were as valuable for effecting change as punctuated bursts of outright rebellion.  His fingerprints were all over the Boston Tea Party, but he was also instrumental in forming Committees of Correspondence across the colonies that helped shape public opinion into organized action.  He grasped the bigger picture and played a most dangerous game exceedingly well against the world's foremost empire.  What is more, he found power in being the underdog.  He appreciated the effectiveness of guerrilla tactics beyond the battlefield.  "It does not take a majority to prevail," he once averred, "but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."

    What a splendid turn of phrase — setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.  It provides so much insight into who Adams was.  It didn't matter how invincible the British Empire appeared.  It didn't matter how few resources he might have had at his disposal.  It didn't matter how many of his contemporaries said it couldn't be done.  He refused to stop whispering words of revolution.  He insisted on being a thorn in the side of the Crown.  He struggled for years to awaken in his fellow colonists a new American identity imbued with a sense of moral purpose and dedicated to the protection of human liberty.  As the American colonies' most ardent arsonist for independence, he never stopped setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.  He lit small fires everywhere, fueled a conflagration, and changed world history forever.

    That's a lesson for us all.


    Added news   to  , Patriotism

    Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats and leftists unleashed a deluge of criticism against the Court, with some claiming the system is so broken that it effectively needs to be blown up. While much of the rhetoric surrounding the ruling can be chalked up to emotionally incontinent hyperbole, it did serve to expose just how severe is the political divide that currently exists within our nation.

    But what ultimately causes this divide? The crux of the issue may be best addressed with the following question: What does it mean to be an American?

    As our nation just celebrated its 246th year of existence, we seem to be in the midst of another major identity crisis. While it might not be as significant as the identity crisis that led to the War Between the States, almost no one argues that the division isn’t real.

    Added news   to  , Patriotism

    Lawmakers don’t brawl as they did in slavery debates before the Civil War. But they’ve made up for abandoning violence by making their rhetoric more extreme. It’s been three years since The Week illustrated rhetoric inflation with a graph showing a near-vertical rise in politicians’ use, for example, of the term “existential threat.” The drift has surely accelerated since then.

    But it’s not only elected officials riding the tide of exaggeration. The rhetoric and the logic of activists also reject nuance. To accuse someone of racism is the gravest of insults, but it is common to do so. Those pushing critical race theory insist you’re a racist unless you’re an active anti-racist — a status attained only by asserting ideas and taking actions that good people rightly deplore.

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