emotions that would be directed at organic nationalism are dis- placed on the Constitution. (Sanford Levinson, University of Texas law professor, 2010) The patriots of today long for the stability and the consistency of the past. They find it difficult living in the modern world and they take refuge in the familiar, the trusted, the consistent, the unchanging ele- ments of society. Modernity, with all of its uncertainty, unfamiliarity, and revolutionary change, is upsetting and challenging to the paths and principles to which such groups cling. (There have been those who sug- gest that Muslim extremists hate the United States because it represents all of the negative aspects of modernity. See William Blum, Why Terrorists Hate America.18) What some might consider “counterpatriotism” or “an- tipatriotism” in today’s context, then, is viewed as a solemn duty by those who embrace this philosophy. The result has been that through- out American history, there have been both strains of patriotism—that is, one that is unquestioningly supportive of government despite its misdeeds and missteps and one that is fiercely loyal to the original con- structs of American government as they (patriots) interpret it. The lat- ter view fosters bitter reaction to the policies and the programs that are meant to deal with the complexities of modern life, but that, for these patriots, are a bastardization of the purity that is epitomized by the founding documents of the American Republic. On several occasions throughout its history, the United States has found itself confronted by its own citizenry who wish to violently overthrow the government in its current incarnation and either (a) replace it with an altogether newly constructed government or (b) forcibly return it to the principles em- bodied in a strict interpretation of the Constitution without “elastic clauses,” “judicial review,” or “implied powers.” PLAN OF THE BOOK This book shall explore the notion of the patriot in the American political lexicon and how the term, as understood by many today, is somewhat contrary to the normally accepted definitions of this term. From this alternate interpretation of what an American patriot truly is comes the justification for the formation of militia groups meant to check the power of an ever-growing expansive government that is deemed un- responsive to the true desires of the American people. The result has been that throughout American history, there has been political violence xvi Introduction
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