As the troublemaker who started this debate on patriotism, I would say that only Robin Grant got my point. As Mr Grant noted, no one is saying that patriotism is always good.
Patriotism simply means you want to do what you believe is best for your country. By that definition, Hitler was a patriot – and so was Gandhi. It has absolutely nothing to do with being good or bad.
What upsets me is when people assume that those who disagree with them are unpatriotic and don’t care about their country. As I noted in my letter, the Republicans in America and the Democrats in Thailand are good examples of people who believe patriots should show total disrespect for the government when the “other side” is in power but then demand total loyalty to the administration when people they like are ruling the country. And that’s the difference between patriotism and hypocrisy.