Originally written: July 2004
It was Samuel Johnson who said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” These times have called this phrase up from history with respect to our response to all the events leading up to and around 9/11. Those who have always loudly proclaimed their patriotism and those who are newly-minted patriots are especially cranked up at this time of the year, July 4th. Since this is issued around that date, I thought it would be appropriate to spout off a little myself. I guess most who read these articles neither expect or want any politics thrown in, but one can’t always have what one wants.
I feel that the most patriotic acts are those that build on the strengths of our country rather than those that call attention to our weaknesses. We are fortunate to have an abundance of various natural resources, and a population that is particularly ingenious and hard working. It seems foolish in the extreme to behave in such a fashion that either ignores or squanders these gifts, but what I see us doing is exactly that, in fact, with such rapidity and self-righteousness that we have traveled from foolishness to tragedy. We find ourselves deeply engaged in a war in the Mid-East for the second time in a dozen years that has the hallmark of “Oil” written all over it, in spite of all the rhetoric about “terrorism” and “democracy.”
No matter where you are on the political spectrum, it is clear that we can only be better off if we reduce (eventually down to zero!) the amount of oil we are importing.