The Left and patriotism

Volokh, Eugene VOLOKH at
Fri Jan 27 15:13:52 PST 2006

	Because, as many on the Left have correctly pointed out, dissent
is not unpatriotic!  You can say a lot of things about how bad the
government is, and still be a perfectly patriotic American.  Among other
things, all you'd be calling for is replacing one American
administration (or set of legal rules) with another American
administration (or set of legal rules).

	Trying to get your state to stop being part of America, it seems
to me, is a different story.  If a Nevadan called for Nevada to secede
so that it could keep more of its own land, and (back in the 55 mph
days) raise the speed limit, would we really call him a patriotic


-----Original Message-----
From: conlawprof-bounces at
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at] On Behalf Of William Araiza
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 3:02 PM
Subject: Re: The Left and patriotism

It seems to me very difficult to affix the label "patriotic" (or
"unpatriotic") in a neutral way.  From what I read in the papers, many
westerners at least purport to view the national government as an
occupying force, owning most of the land, imposing land-use controls
they intensely dislike, even imposing a national speed limit.  Yet at
the same time one doesn't often think of them when thinking of
unpatriotic people.  These may be federalism-based disputes over what
level of government should make these kinds of decisions, but the
rhetoric often seems quite disloyal (leaving aside the crazies with the
guns and the bombs who really are disloyal).  Why isn't it called
unpatriotic when the government representing all Americans is subjected
to that sort of rhetoric?

Bill Araiza
Loyola L.A.

John Bonine (U of O) wrote:


	Many on the Left quite properly bristle when others suggest that
they're unpatriotic.  . . .  One can oppose aspects of our Constitution
and still be

I had a hard time getting past your first and third sentences.  Maybe
just me. 

This isn't a question of whether the Left opposes part of the
is it?  Or is that your point?

Or did you mean to say simply that one can oppose some things and still
patriotic, but cannot oppose reducing any part of the territory and be

Assuming the latter, Barry Goldwater was not patriotic when he proposed
New York "be sawed off and allowed to drift out to sea"?  A whole bunch
Westerners thought that he was intensely patriotic.

And what about letting Puerto Rico go if it chooses?  Patriotic, not, or
don't know?

Finally, what about encouraging some Americans to leave (you know,
love it or leave it!" from the 1960s)?  Surely not patriotic at all,
to want some Americans to leave would surely be as bad as wanting, say,
York to leave.

Now, about ADDING territory or Americans, I am still trying to figure
what the patriotic position is on that.


-----Original Message-----
From: conlawprof-bounces at 
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at] On Behalf Of Volokh, Eugene
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 1:43 PM
To: conlawprof at
Subject: The Left and patriotism


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Bill Araiza
Associate Dean for Faculty and Professor of Law
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Loyola Marymount University
919 Albany St.
Los Angeles CA 90015
213-736-8167 (voice)
213-380-3769 (fax)

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