"Love your country, but never trust its government."
– Robert Heinlein, American author
A soldier was once asked whether he fought for his country or his government. He replied with another question to the first question: Is there a difference? The sincere inquirer told the soldier that you could love your country, but suspect your government’s love for you. The soldier thereafter stood at ease.
“I would die for my country, but I could never let my country die for me,” said Neil Kinnock. Match that with Edmund Burke’s quintessential thoughts that “to make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.” Much to digest for those who stand for elections and wonder how badly, and profitably, they ought to serve the people.
During his presidential inauguration President John F Kennedy rained a torrent of guilty conscience when he exhorted Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”