Roger Bowen’s Sept. 17 Maine Voices column suggesting accepting the “peaceful devolution of (culturally divided) America into several nations” produced this comment from RationalRuminator of the pseudonymous online commentariat: “The writer of this piece, I assume, is a young liberal who has been taught that … America isn’t worth preserving.”

Actually, Bowen is an old liberal academic and former college president, so his unwillingness to fight for America isn’t surprising, nor is his portrayal of red states in fictionally devolved America as “poor,” “feudal” and “reactionary” backwaters that supported lynching fugitive slaves.

Hateful prose is Bowen’s specialty. In his Aug. 3, 2019, Maine Voices column, “Any American can be a patriot without being a nationalist,” Bowen suggested that Donald Trump and his supporters are too dumb to understand Samuel Johnson’s famous quote, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” and that Johnson was referring not to patriotism but to nationalism, whose adherents, Bowen wrote, have “blind loyalty” to their country, butcher villagers and send people to death camps. In my Aug. 11, 2019, Another View response, I wrote that “nationalism is patriotism’s necessary spine” and that “before long … timid ‘patriots,’ shorn of their nationalist spine, will have no country to love.”

In saying that he would support peaceful devolution over fighting to save America, history’s greatest jewel, Roger Bowen has proved my point. In the end, he is neither nationalist nor patriot, but a man without a country.

Charles Todorich
South Portland

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