Then none was for a party—
Then all were for the state;
Then the great man helped the poor,
And the poor man loved the great;
Then lands were fairly portioned!
Then spoils were fairly sold:
The Romans were like brothers
In the brave days of old.
Now Roman is to Roman
More hateful than a foe,
And the tribunes beard the high,
And the fathers grind the low.
As we wax hot in faction,
In battle we wax cold;
Wherefore men fight not as they fought
In the brave days of old.
Horatius at the Bridge, Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay
Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has an interesting post on Ezra Klein, a man upon whom Mark Shea bestows the title of patriot:
According to Mark Shea, Ezra Klein. Why? Because Klein is a leading voice in the call for Trump’s impeachment. He is a an activist not at all shy about donning his PhD and MD in psychiatry and declaring Trump to be mentally unstable. He supports the contraceptive mandate of Obamacare. He supports abortion rights. He supports gay marriage. In short, Klein is a hard left activists who represents many of the radical Leftist extremes that got us Trump in the first place.
And Mark Shea gushes with love and adoration over this folk hero of American patriotism. Why? Because, again, Klein is against conservatives and Trump. Apparently, that is the litmus test. Support abortion rights, gay marriage, the eradication of religious liberty, Leftist politics – it matters not. Oppose the Right and Trump at all costs, and that alone is worthy of praise and adoration. Oh, and that abortion thing? We just blame it on sexist men and capitalists who give women no other choice but to have an abortion.
Remember when Mark joined other Catholics in saying support for abortion rights was bad, or that the HHS mandate was a threat to freedom? Yeah, so do I. But then I can hardly blame Mark for excusing what the Church once so loudly opposed when the Church no longer seems to loudly oppose them.
Note: None of this is to take issue with Klein’s interpretation of Trump’s interview, or tendency to gloss over the similar foibles that have plagued the media over the last few years. It’s just to notice the term ‘patriot’, which has alternately been used as a compliment, an insult, and a joke in my life, is applied by Mark in such a way.
to comment. Those of us with good memories will recall that Klein founded Journ-O-list
. This was a secret cabal of left wing journalists that was uncovered in 2010. I guess for them the mainstream media was too right wing. Klein, of course, is not a patriot. He is what the Founding Fathers would have called a factionalist. He seeks not the good of his country, but rather the triumph of his political faction. I have no doubt that if queried he would protest that the policies of his faction would be good for the nation, and he might well be sincere in that statement, but there is little doubt that he views the nation through the prism of his factional loyalties and that America is only to be loved insomuch as it embraces his faction. This all brings to mind a brilliant scene from True Grit
LaBeouf: The force of law? This man is a notorious thumper. He rode by the light of the moon with Quantrill. – Bloody Bill Anderson.
Cogburn:- Them men were patriots, Texas trash.
LaBeouf: They murdered women and children in Lawrence, Kansas.
Cogburn: That’s a God damn lie!
Politics have often been heated in the US. The trouble is that on two occasions in our history heated politics led to outright war: the American Revolution, which might also be rightfully called the First American Civil War, and the Civil War. Great issues were involved in both those conflicts and perhaps they were unavoidable. But when politics reaches a stage where we bestow the title of patriot upon those who agree with us politically, and condemn those who oppose us traitors, we would do well to remind ourselves that such talk has before led this country down the path to open war. Something that Mark Shea, and all of us, might wish to consider,