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Prof. Bob Calvert Discusses America's Present View of Patriotism and the Next US Supreme Court Justice on NPR Affiliate's Noon Edition

July 1, 2005

robert calvert.jpgJuly 1, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - Audio Link [Download Audio: "Misunderstanding Patriotism" - 533kb] "What goes by the name of patriotism today is often nothing other than what some people often call simply flag-waving jingoism, just sockless, barefoot nationalism," Robert E. Calvert, professor of political science at DePauw University, said on today's Noon Edition, which airs on Bloomington, Indiana National Public Radio affiliate WFIU. Dr. Calvert says many people now mistakenly view the term "patriotrism" as "an aggressive, almost mindless instinctive love for one's own and hatred of the others."

The professor continued, "I'm afraid this is being seriously promoted by the present administration, and they are drawing on that for support. Unfortunately, the opponents of the current administration frequently accept exactly the same understanding of patriotism and therefore reject it out of hand. So the two sides are fundamentally agreeing on what patriotism -- in quotation marks -- is about. But they both of them, it seems to me, misunderstand."

Calvert noted, "Dissent can't be un-American. If so, the whole American Revolution was a mistake." He called the naming of the Patriot Act "contentious, Audio Link [Download Audio: "Who's Against That?" - 190kb] "It's like the 'Honesty Act'; who's against that is the implication."

While the program was dedicated to the subject of patriotism, timed to coincide with the start of Independence Day weekend, there was also discussion of the day's breaking news story on the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Audio Link [Download Audio: "The Next Justice" - 354kb] "Every controversy over adding somebody to the court, especially at a time like this, raises controversies that touch on the very east college holton.jpgfundamental assumptions of American democracy," Calvert stated. "If we can distance ourselves from the immediate politics of this struggle to fill that vacancy, and stand back and look at it with some sort of historical detachment, we'll see that what's really at stake here is nothing less than the larger outlines of American democracy for the future -- it's a very, very important issue."

The entire program is archived on WFIU's Web site.

Past guests on Noon Edition have included Eric K. Silverman, associate professor of sociology and anthropology at DePauw; Kerry Pannell, associate professor of economics and management; Ted Rueter, assistant professor of political science; Jeff McCall '76, professor of communication; and Brett O'Bannon, assistant professor of political science.

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