Abstract dissent is not patriotism

I saw a bumper sticker today that said “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” The quote was attributed to Thomas Jefferson, which is apparently incorrect, but regardless, the sentiment betrays a rather delicious incoherence of thought. If mere dissent is the highest form of patriotism, then anarchy must be the highest form of government. The logical conclusion of consistent dissent is the dissolution of civil society as the true patriots find themselves continually warring against whatever faction happens to be in power.

Interestingly, I only seem to see these stickers pop up when some form of conservative government is in power. When a more liberal party reigns, I tend to see the “NOT MY PRESIDENT” stickers, which, though similarly false, at least stop short of proclaiming a self-defeating philosophy.

Links in the preceding entry, if any, may include referral codes. These generally have the effect of tossing a few coins into my purse if you purchase something after clicking the link. If you find this practice to be a morally reprehensible case of corporate shillery (and I don't blame you if you do), or if you otherwise find the idea of supporting my blogging efforts to be distasteful (a similarly reasonable stance), then I cordially invite you to refrain from clicking any such links.