To the editor:
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."
When politicians talk about being loyal or disloyal to your country, they're usually talking about loyalty to the policies of a particular administration. It is not disloyal in fact, sometimes it's most patriotic to remember that "our country" is not synonymous with "government policy," whatever the latest policy may be. If you disagree with the policies of the governor or state Legislature, are you a disloyal Kansan? If you don't like something the mayor does, are you un-Lawrencian?
Most of us learned this lesson only too well during the Vietnam War. The present administration learned it well enough to make a sideways appeal to patriotism to gain support for the Desert Storm war "Support Our Troops." Of course we supported our troops; they were our family. Ergo, we supported the war. Discuss the issues? You don't have to; just "Support Our Troops." Disagree with the policy? That wouldn't be supporting our troops. Were the real patriots the people who helped arm Iraq?
Our politicians do not always act in the best interests of the country, the people, or the republic. Their judgment may be skewed by self-interest; sometimes they simply make mistakes; sometimes they don't tell us what we ought to know. They do not always represent the thinking of every loyal American. And all loyal Americans do not agree with each other or vote alike.