Sunday, March 29, 2015

Things TJ Never Said: Dissent Is the Highest Form of Patriotism

The quote referenced in the title is very popular among protestors, most often, it seems among the left, though not exclusively.

There is a good deal of truth to it, in my opinion, but it's certainly not always true; dissent, it seems obvious to me, may be either patriotic or not, depending on circumstances and, most importantly, motivation.

The quote is generally attributed to Thomas Jefferson (as are a great many things he didn't say). offers a list of spurious quotes, as well as info on their true origin. This one seems to be no older than 1961, where it appeared in this form:
"If what your country is doing seems to you practically and morally wrong, is dissent the highest form of patriotism?" 
As Monticello notes, it came to wide attention during the Vietnam era. I remember hearing it used often (and no doubt used it myself) at that time.

In any case, that is all irrelevant, since dissent is no longer patriotic – it's racist.

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