What Is A Patriot?

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images/ for Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770)

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images/ for Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770)

BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM)  -- It’s the oldest, cheapest stunt in the political playbook – attacking someone’s patriotism in order to wrap yourself in the flag.

We’ve been seeing it exploited by politicians for decades, and we’re likely to see it even more now that a publicity-seeking website, HubWallet.com, has published a dubious list of the most patriotic states in America.

You can check it out for yourself, but I can spare you the clicks – Virginia is number one, followed by Alaska, Wyoming, South Carolina and Idaho.

Who is dead last? Why, Massachusetts of course.

HubWallet tries to dress up it’s stunt by asking a few academics to weigh in on what makes someone a patriot, then essentially ignoring their comments in favor of a bogus methodology that puts great weight on things like what percent of a state’s residents are active-duty military, how many are veterans, and how frequently they search Google for American flags.

Low cost-of-living states with lots of military bases score well; expensive states with costly real estate don’t. The results are a joke. But the way this kind of garbage is exploited by pols on the make is not.

The dictionary defines a patriot as “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies.”

It defines treason as “the crime of betraying one’s country.” The definition of which actions meet those descriptions is subject to debate.

Put me down as someone who believes a patriot can love their country so much they want to speak up when they see it going wrong, as well as denounce unfair criticism of it.

Someone who wants to sell their country out to the interests of a hostile foreign power? 

Not even close.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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