Several flag retailers have recently reported increased sales due to an increase of patriotic home improvements. The nation, as an abstract community and as a cultural value, came about as the result of efforts made by real people, who considered themselves, and today are still considered to be, members of their nation, and for whom being a member of the nation - in the sense not of a social group but of an abstract community - was not just a source of pride, but also, and in fact above all, signified a commitment, the commitment of the individual to this national community.

1Independence Day" and Land of Plenty" are two tropes referring to the basis of American national identity: the Declaration of Independence with its guarantee of equal and inalienable rights and the promise of an inexhaustible abundance of resources.

As a result, the need for educated elites in national life decreases - as does their responsibility. We had beaten formidable enemies and we are in this together were at the height of the American Century." When we played war games we did it with equipment our relatives brought home as souvenirs of war.

When liberals neglect these imperatives, demagogues who claim preeminence as patriotic national guardians while identifying the nation with only part of its people are sure to step forward and press their own ideas about how to make their country great again." From Washington to Warsaw and Budapest to Bangalore, that is exactly what has happened.

And yet, the very document that famously holds certain truths to be self-evident begins by invoking a concept that is far from self-evident—namely, a distinct people may dissolve the political bands that have connected it to another people and to assume a separate and equal standing" among the nations of the earth to which it is entitled by nothing less than the laws of nature and of nature's God." The equality and independence of peoples is grounded in the same sources as the rights of individuals.
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