Where’s your lapel pin?

Nearly 85,000 days have passed since John Hancock signed our Declaration of Independence. Yesterday we celebrated with triumphant patriotism and copious amounts of gunpowder, imported from our chief creditor. One of the ironies of this is that our nation was borne out of the Enlightenment, a true product of its age. Fingerprints of the zeitgeist are all over our founding documents. Yet many of the Enlightenment thinkers despised patriotism and nationalism. They felt that the world was now so multicultural and cosmopolitan — this is 18th century remember, before even Thomas Friedman — that narrow-minded allegiance to one country above all others was ignorant, shallow, backward. Over two centuries later, perhaps the United States of Amnesia has forgotten a few things.

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