Our View: ‘Defining patriotism down’
Posted: November 16, 2012
They call themselves the “Patriotic Millionaires,” and their message is “Tax us, we can take it.” On Wednesday, more than two dozen of them descended upon Washington to spread that message.
Our first inclination is simply to ask these folks, “If you’re so keen on paying more, why not just cut a check to Uncle Sam and leave the rest of us out of it?”
Beneath such flippancy, though, resides a deeper concern, namely the reduction of patriotism to a ledger transaction. No less a heavy thinker than the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan might have described this as “defining patriotism down.” And he would have been right.
It’s hard to figure out what’s more abhorrent — measuring love of country in dollars and cents, or reveling in such self-ascribed virtue, as these folks seem to be doing.