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Reader's View: Patriotism is earned, not worn like a costume

Becky Hall's overwrought description of Tea Partiers read like one of those self-serving, made-in-America television commercials we sometimes see from auto manufacturers. In them, patriotism is used as a feel-good vehicle to bond with Joe Average...

Becky Hall's overwrought description of Tea Partiers read like one of those self-serving, made-in-America television commercials we sometimes see from auto manufacturers. In them, patriotism is used as a feel-good vehicle to bond with Joe Average -- with the ultimate goal of selling him a pickup truck (A Tea Partier's View: "Patriots, let freedom ring at your caucuses," Feb. 7).

Perhaps all Tea Partiers truly are patriots, as Hall suggested in her commentary. But so are a lot of other people. In any event, it ought to seem improper for anyone to drape themselves in that description as though it were some sort of costume. Patriotism is certainly not a concept that nests comfortably with only one particular brand. To me, "patriot" is a term that ought to be judiciously bestowed, not greedily assumed.

Donald Dass

Duluth

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