The Definition of Patriotism The day after a huge antiwar demonstration in Washington, D.C., CNN asked the following electronic poll question: “Do you think antiwar demonstrators should be regarded as traitors?” The very question was obscene; even we would say “unpatriotic” since it implied that a prohibition on dissent-the very kernel of a free society-was conceivable and perhaps desirable. Since treason is normally punished by death, it was as if CNN were asking the prowar faction of its audience if another faction of its audience-the antiwar left-should be tried and perhaps put to death.