Professor Says Liberals Can Be Patriots

An outspoken liberal professor offers his perspective on the left’s struggle with patriotism.

Todd Gitlin, a Columbia University journalism and sociology professor, recently spoke to a group of college students about his new book, "The Intellectuals and the Flag." He explained his annoyance with liberals who voluntary estrange themselves "from the rest of the nation, citing their alleged rejection of patriotism," writes the Yale Daily News.

Gitlin says, "I think that the upshot is that patriotism is experienced by many people on the left as something of an embarrassment."

The professor believes that liberals reject patriotism because they think it forces them to "identify with a larger group of Americans with whom they disagree…" according to the Daily.

"The left sees itself as standing outside a country that does bad," Gitlin said.

Finally, a liberal has acknowledged it — the left lacks "American patriotism" because they hate America!

Gitlin goes on to say, "…it is strategically disastrous to take this position as outsiders, since it is a concession to people who are not entitled to be the spokespersons of patriotism. It is a move against public life, public domain, public virtue and public-mindedness."

Moreover, between the two major political camps, Gitlin sees greater division among the left.

"The right is composed of two main forces: moralist social Christian groups and anti-tax small-government proponents," he said. "The left has maybe seven forces: the residues of trade unionism, African-Americans, Hispanics, gays and lesbians, university types, environmentalists and feminists. To staple together seven is a lot harder than to staple together two."

But, according to the article, Gitlin has a solution: "…people on the left must realize that they are not obligated to be defensive about their patriotism."

Being "defense" isn’t the left’s problem, Professor Gitlin. Rather, it’s an all-out hatred of America’s founding principles and values. Communists and socialists have a difficult time supporting and loving a country that is directly responsible for their political and ideological failures throughout history.

The Yale Daily News also mentions that the Columbia professor is the author of "The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage" and a number of articles published by The New York Times and The Nation. In the 1960s, Gitlin also organized the first national demonstration against the Vietnam War while he served as the third president of the New Left protest organization Students for a Democratic Society.