Dissent, Patriotism, and Insurrection: A Complicated History

Left: Portland, Ore., July 29, 2020. Right: Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021. (Caitlin Ochs, Stephanie Keith/Reuters)
We should stop acting like every dissenter is a terrorist-in-waiting. We should also call out actual insurrection when we see it, on both sides.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T homas Jefferson did not actually say, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” The dodgy New York City mayor John Lindsay did say it. Yeah, that’s a comedown . . . but it was the Sixties, Lindsay was the original “limousine liberal” — to hear Mario Procaccino, a Bronx pol of my youth, tell it — and who on the center-left wasn’t saying it by then? Vietnam had become Nixon’s War.

Decades later, as a U.S. senator, Sixties deb Hillary Clinton revived the thought, in her less-than-sonorous way: “I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and

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