What is patriotism and what is nationalism?

Timothy Snyder in his 2017 book On Tyranny, offers twenty lessons from the 20th century that can help us think now about this country's future. The last lesson he gives us is "Be a Patriot" then defines what that means. 

  • A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best.

  • Nationalism is relative, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others.

  • A nationalist will say "tyranny can't happen here".

  • A patriot will ask us to be our best selves, wanting the nation to live up to its ideals.

  • A patriot has universal values by which s/he judges the nation and its people.

  • A patriot says that tyranny could happen here, but that we will stop it.

Let's be patriots.