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Editorial: With July 4 near, beware this threat

| June 29, 2022 1:00 AM

On Monday, the nation’s 20th most patriotic state will celebrate Independence Day.

That ranking, by the way, isn’t ours. It’s the product of a study by WalletHub that compared 13 indicators of patriotism across all 50 states.

Did you know Idaho ranks No. 1 in requiring civics or U.S. history in its schools? WalletHub says so.

The study rated Idaho 11th in average number of military enlistees per 1,000 civilian adults, 29th in active duty military personnel per 100,000 civilian adults, 15th in Peace Corps volunteers per capita, and 16th in volunteer rate, just to name a few of the criteria.

To learn more about the WalletHub study, check out: https://bit.ly/3OpJeH2

Locally, the beloved Fourth of July parade and fireworks in downtown Coeur d’Alene will get the patriotic kettle boiling. Begging Mrs. Language Person’s pardon, this is as good a time as any to point out the difference between patriotism and its sinister cousin, nationalism.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, patriotism is devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country. Nationalism is identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.

Part of patriotism is the desire to change your country's course when you think it's headed the wrong way. Not so with nationalism. Nationalists believe their nation is never wrong and thus is justified in any action it takes.

‘Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception,” wrote George Orwell.

“Nationalism is an infantile disease,” wrote Albert Einstein. “It is the measles of mankind.”

“Pervading nationalism imposes its dominion on man today in many different forms and with an aggressiveness that spares no one,” wrote Pope John Paul II. “The challenge that is already with us is the temptation to accept as true freedom what in reality is only a new form of slavery.”

We maintain that there is no state in this beautiful union more patriotic than beloved Idaho.

And that there is no greater threat to our country’s future than the growth of nationalist groups.

Bask in patriotic glory. Reject nationalism no matter what flag it's hiding behind.

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