Ive been re-reading James Burnhams classic Suicide of the West in the evenings recently (I really need to switch to P.G. Wodehouse or Evelyn Waugh in these dark times), and the following passage jumped out as being even more true and relevant today than when he wrote it 45 years ago:
"Liberals, unless they are professional politicians needing votes in the hinterland, are not subject to strong feelings of national patriotism and are likely to feel uneasy at patriotic ceremonies. These, like the organizations in whose conduct they are still manifest, are dismissed by liberals rather scornfully as flag-waving and 100 percent Americanism. When a liberal journalist uses the phrase patriotic organization, the adjective is equivalent in meaning to stupid, reactionary and rather ludicrous. The rise of liberalism to predominance in the controlling sectors of American opinion is in almost exact correlation with the decline in the ceremonial celebration of the Fourth of July, traditionally regarded as the nations major holiday. To the liberal mind, the patrioic oratory is not only banal but subversive of rational ideals; and judged by liberalisms humanitarian morality, the enthusiasm and pleasures that simple souls might have got from the fireworks could not compensate the occasional damage to the eye or finger of an unwary youngster. The purer liberals of the Norman Cousins strain, in the tradition of Eleanor Roosevelt, are more likely to celebrate UN Day than the Fourth of July."
Substitute "red states" for "hinterlands," John Kerry for Norman Cousins, and you have an up-to-date description of the present moment.