We’re Still Not Talking about the Patriotism America Needs

Ben Railton in US Intellectual History Blog:

In recent weeks, President Trump has spent a great deal of time articulating a specific and extreme vision of American patriotism. This vision asks us to remember and celebrate only the most idealized American histories and stories, and defines any deviation from those celebrations as nothing less than unpatriotic hate.

Trump expressed this absolute form of patriotism in the September 17th speech announcing his “Patriotic Education” Commission, calling the New York Times’ 1619 Project “a crusade against American history,” “toxic propaganda,” and “a form of child abuse.” He claimed that “patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country.” And he did so again in his recent Columbus Day proclamation, arguing that the “extremists” who would “replace discussion of [Columbus’] vast contributions with talk of failings … seek to revise [history], deprive it of any splendor, and mark it as inherently sinister,” and that in response “we must teach future generations about our storied heritage.”

More here.