Patriotism isn’t complicated

Tom’s entry below has a lot of points I could agree with – and more that I’d like to argue over beer about. But today I’d like to share a slightly different perspective.

A few days ago, I had the chance to share a cab with someone who had worked at a high level in the Reagan White House. I asked him about his contact with the President in what he called the sunset of his life. And while he hadn’t seen Reagan in some time, he would from time to time get a phone call from Nancy, sharing a story or piece of news about the President.

One particular call this gentleman received is appropriate today.

As Reagan would sit with Nancy through the day, he would often nod off for a few minutes. One day, after being asleep in a chair for about 10 minutes, he woke with a start – a bit disoriented and confused. He looked at Nancy next to him and didn’t say, “hello” or anything of the sort. He simply smiled wide and said, “I love America.”

And in the throes of a disease that steals memory, reason, political agendas – when all that was stripped away, the most important thing the President was left with was a deep and abiding – inherently optimistic and positive love for his country. And that is the best kind of patriotism I can imagine.

1 Comment so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 11:43 am

    I think “Patriotism SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE complicated” might be more accurate. As we descend farther into this “with us or against us” mentality and our representatives seem more in bed with their corporate overlords than ever, it seems pretty clear we’ve lost the message that both sides of the aisle (and those of us out here who refuse to play strictly on either team) believe they’re operating in the best interest of the country.

    I was never a big fan of the Gipper (I honestly haven’t found myself a big fan of any of my lifetime’s Presidents) but I don’t remember him or his folks ever claiming the people with different methods than his own didn’t have the same goals as he did.

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