Patriots of Coral Gables
December 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Many who have lived in other climes know that there is nothing particularly unique in holding nationalistic beliefs about your town, state, province or country. You may be drawn to the area because of kinship, language or history learned, but, in fact, all think that their country or region is exceptional, and none are particularly different.
Coral Gables is no more exceptional than many other nice little towns across the world, and its lack of exceptionalism also applies to its rather standard issue political leaders, mainly fending for their own interests and for the city only secondarily.
Not so long ago, as Eugen Weber observes, most people were only dimly aware of what nation they “belonged” to. They took little offense at insults to their country, its people, or their flag, because they just didn’t much identify with their country, its people, or their flag. Then came the patriots, descending upon their nations’ schools like locusts. They taught children a litany of bizarre nonsense. They urged them to love millions of complete strangers who happened to live inside a Magic Line (a.k.a. “the border”), and loathe those who snickered during the Pledge of Allegiance or improperly folded the flag.