During the Bush administration the battle cry of anti-war demonstrators was: Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.
The quote was attributed to Thomas Jefferson.
In 2003 Senator Hillary Clinton riled up an audience with Jeffersonian fervor by shouting, “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic … We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.”
Now dissenters are riled up against the new administration that debated, disagreed, and destroyed Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. There have been post-election demonstrations, inaugural protests, and outrage against executive orders, once again demonstrators are intoxicated with patriotism’s highest form.
But is dissent really the highest form of patriotism?
Dissent just means to disagree. Now, disagreeing for partisan reasons or personal dislike is the lowest form of dissent and has nothing to do with patriotism.
Patriotism is: Devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country.
Dissenters emphasize their love of country, but I’m going to emphasize defense. Thomas Jefferson understood defense. He created a gunboat navy. Jefferson also understood dissent, but Jefferson wouldn’t have understood this phrase attributed to him because he never said it.