Any time a presidential candidate follows the phrase "loving your country" with the word "must," a shiver runs through me, and not in the Chris Matthews way. Here's Barack Obama yesterday, as part of his week-long patriogasm in the run-up to Independence Day:
loving your country shouldn't just mean watching fireworks on the Fourth of July. Loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it.
First of all, as reason columnist Greg Beato has amply documented, it's getting harder and harder for happiness-pursuing Americans to watch their own damned fireworks, thanks to politicians of the nanny-boo Chicago school. Second of all, who died and made this guy the arbiter of what "loving your country must mean"? He's been musting all week, too:
[P]atriotism must, if it is to mean anything, involve the willingness to sacrifice - to give up something we value on behalf of a larger cause. [...]
For the rest of us - for those of us not in uniform or without loved ones in the military - the call to sacrifice for the country's greater good remains an imperative of citizenship.
Sacrifice for the greater good, sacrifice for the greater good ... where have I heard that before?
Read John McCain's alarming views on national service here. Barack Obama's various bad ideas on the subject can be found here. Paul Thornton warned us about national service back in May, and in the June issue, Gene Healy explained just how and why it came to pass that "Today's candidates are running enthusiastically for national preacher-and much else besides."