In The L.A. Times, Jonah Goldberg writes, “I have no interest in ‘questioning’ Couric’s patriotism. Rather, I’m interested in questioning her definition of it”:
I’ve come around to the view that the culture war can best be understood as a conflict between two different kinds of patriotism. On the one hand, there are people who believe being an American is all about dissent and change, that the American idea is inseparable from “progress.” America is certainly an idea, but it is not merely an idea. It is also a nation with a culture as real as France’s or Mexico’s. That’s where the other patriots come in; they think patriotism is about preserving Americanness.
Yet the strangest and most ironic aspect of our national culture is that we have an aversion to talking about a national culture. Samuel Huntington, one of the country’s premier social scientists, has become something of a pariah for constantly reminding people (in books such as “The Clash of Civilizations” and “Who Are We?”) that the United States is a nation, not just a government and a bunch of interest groups.
Many liberals hear talk of national culture and shout, “Nativist!” first and ask questions later, if at all. They believe it is a sign of their patriotism that they hold fast to the idea that we are a “nation of immigrants” — forgetting that we are also a nation of immigrants who became Americans.
Read the whole thing.