British essayist and moralist Samuel Johnson in 1775 famously asserted that “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” His statement has echoed down through the centuries to expose the character of innumerable faux patriots and it resonates flawlessly in recent days with the flag-waving thugs brandishing their AR-15s and bellowing inchoate exhortations at various statehouses for “freedom” from epidemiologically necessary stay-at-home mandates.
These people, as well as their ideological cohorts without weapons, are dangerous to America on a numbers of levels.
Obviously, the Second Amendment zealots irresponsibly bringing weapons of war to a contentious policy dispute may well have immediate fatal consequences. Then too, the tightly clustered gatherings of people, few of whom wear masks, provide a virtual petri dish for coronavirus infection with exponentially fatal consequences.
But perhaps of greater significance to our status in the world are these televised images of mob insurrection, seen by enemies and allies alike, that display America as little more than a banana republic. And, as if it were thought that these allegedly spontaneous rallies were not advocated by the highest levels of government, the head cheerleader fomenting these un-American activities and deleterious consequences is none other than Samuel Johnson’s example of the patriotic scoundrel, occupying the Oval Office.