Time Essay: The Return of Patriotism

The new American patriotism probably started with the Bicentennial.

After Viet Nam and Watergate, 1976 turned into a vast star-spangled ceremony of self-forgiveness. Later came certain movies (Midnight Express and The Deer Hunter, for example) that were fascinating in their allegory: each portrayed American youth abroad, wholesome and handsome and lovable, yet in the grips of foreigners as evil as reptiles. This winter, Americans have been inclined to think that reality (whether in Tehran or Bogota) has confirmed the allegory. U.S. citizens are held hostage far from home; the dangerous and primitive...

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