Other related topics at:
411. Class; Patriotism; Populism;
"A patriot is necessarily and invariably a lover of the people.
But even this mark may sometimes deceive us.
The people is a
very heterogeneous and confused mass of the wealthy and the poor,
the wise and the foolish, the good and the bad. Before we confer
on a man, who caresses the people, the title of patriot, we must
examine to what part of the people he directs his notice. It is
proverbially said, that he who dissembles his own character, may
be known by that of his companions. If the candidate of
patriotism endeavours to infuse right opinions into the higher
ranks, and, by their influence, to regulate the lower; if he
consorts chiefly with the wise, the temperate, the regular, and
the virtuous, his love of the people may be rational and honest.
But if his first or principal application be to the indigent, who
are always inflammable; to the weak, who are naturally
suspicious; to the ignorant, who are easily misled; and to the
profligate, who have no hope but from mischief and confusion;
let his love of the people be no longer boasted. No man can
reasonably be thought a lover of his country, for roasting an ox,
or burning a boot, or attending the meeting at Mile-end, or
registering his name in the lumber troop. He may, among the
drunkards, be a hearty fellow, and, among sober handicraftmen, a
free-spoken gentleman; but he must have some better distinction,
before he is a patriot."
Johnson: The Patriot