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RALPH NADER – How Unpatriotic is Donald Trump?

Samuel Johnson famously considered patriotism “the last refuge of a scoundrel.” His biographer James Boswell, who passed along that judgment, clarified that Johnson “did not mean a real and generous love for our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak for self-interest.”

This could be describing Donald Trump. And yet the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan theorized in an April 2016 column that Trump’s major appeal to Republican voters came not from his adherence to any political ideology, but rather from his radiant patriotism which has, in her view, been absent from the political status quo. “What Trump supporters believe, what they perceive as they watch him,” she wrote, “is that he is on America’s side.”

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