You’re not looking close enough.
All you have to do is dig a little bit under the surface of the purple hair and clown suits, and you will find a large, less vocal contingent on both sides of the aisle that are just trying to get on with their lives, and whom look upon the current state of affairs with disquieted horror.
These are the true patriots.
You won’t find them swinging from the chandeliers or trumpeting the latest fringe ideas, nor will you find them yelling and screaming over every little slight. They’re not paying attention to the flag-wavers, because the flag-wavers are not relevant. They’re just trying to make a living, raise a family, pursue a little happiness and do it with a modicum of integrity … Y’now, all those little, unassuming things that don’t make the nightly news but do make for a fulfilling life.
You also won’t find them challenging other people’s patriotism. The quiet majority understand that true patriotism is not achieved with a megaphone, but rather within the marketplace of ideas.
Alas, that marketplace seems polluted with the most vile of voices nowadays.
In describing the patriotism of the Left, perhaps you’re referring to some of those folks in the middle who still have the capacity to think. Most of the ideas that I keep hearing from the left are not only unworkable, but some of them are actually morally bankrupt. Some of them, like Socialism (a pet favorite of the left), have been tried and failed so many times that it’s not worth trying them again.
Liberals don’t have a monopoly on patriotism. Quite the reverse, in some cases; many liberal thinkers seem to be embarrassed by America’s success as a nation… its wealth, its strength, its opportunity. They seem to want to alleviate that embarrassment by weakening the country. That’s not the way you make things better for the less fortunate.
Nor is the point of conservatism to preserve some non-existent relic of the 50’s. Conservatives are as eager to progress as anyone; they’d just prefer ideas that actually work, and progression in a way that benefits everyone, not just the ruling elite.