Remember when conservatives used to say, “America, love it or leave it”? When just about any protest coming from somewhere else along the ideological spectrum was cause to question that person’s loyalty and love of country? Ah yes. Those were the days.

But now, after decades of positioning government as the enemy, the more recent rise of Tea Party populism, and the prospects of a two-term Democratic president, some on the right find themselves in rather a different place. Instead of impugning the loyalties of others for their perceived lack of patriotism, they are left to employ a sort of situational patriotism all their own.

Take, for example, Ben Shapiro. You may not know who Shapiro is. I certainly didn’t (apparently he’s an “Editor-at-Large” for But then he went on CNN and offered this little chestnut: Average citizens are entitled to semi-automatic weapons because the U.S. government may…

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