Decades ago as a young man, the patriotism that I, and those around me, felt was an intensely personal, spiritual, almost religious appreciation for our good fortune to be citizens of this country. The pride of being part of a nation that stood as an example of freedom and opportunity on the world stage actually created a tear-producing swelling of my soul. Patriotism today has been reduced to a stadium-like chant of “U-S-A, U-S-A, We-Are-Great, You-Guys-Suck!” Not participating in this vulgar, belligerent mentality is cause for some to label you as an unpatriotic outcast or even an apologist. Our journey along this path to vulgarity culminated on the Capitol steps at noon on Friday, Jan. 20. The young patriot in me weeps.

— Greg Seltzer, Hamilton

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