Footnotes to the Decline of ‘Patriotism’

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Patriotism’s root is the Latin patria, and used to mean love of fatherland, tradition — freedom and all its fruits. Now, Memorial Day used to fall on May 30, but Lyndon Johnson, Liar Supreme of his time (only to be outdone in our own, alas), signed into law in 1968 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which, as its name implies, put Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day on Mondays. Even Martin Luther King’s birthday was ignored, as his secular feast day (did his family demand royalty payments for that every year too?) was stuck on another Monday.

Between now and July 4, our inboxes will fill with tirades about how few real “patriots” abide in our fair land (self-congratulatory exception being the sender, of course). But a deeper look reveals the truth. Ask yourself, cui bono? Many of us love our country passionately. And today we are working. But these Monday dates were established not to honor real heroes, but to create four more three-day weekends for federal employees (notice I did not say “workers”). In other words, the once-patriotic holidays have been transformed into taxpayer-funded holidays for federal employee unions. And who wants to celebrate that?

This detail is seldom noted, even by all the enterprises that I passed this morning that are open for business — “private” business, of course, with employees who work, unlike the feds, whom they nonetheless fully fund.

Here, punching through the inbox blather, is revealed a genuine cause of the decline of patriotism, properly diagnosed: Patriotism once represented love of patria — country, freedom, church, family, land, friends — all of them vigorously defended against thugs who lusted after power. Now it has become love of government, and a symbol of the power that government’s thugs wield  over us.

And the corollary, which Orwell would love: We work today, so that they may not. After all, Freedom is Slavery.

9:17 am on May 28, 2012