What we overlook in these claims of virtuous patriotism are integral components of piety and charity. In the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, "piety is a protestation of the charity we bear towards our parents and country."
Imagine if our children spoke to us with the same tone we exercise in online political comment feeds. Has your 8-year-old ever passive-aggressively expressed concern for your eternal damnation? How effective has that been in furthering parent-child dialogue?
Comparing filial dialogues to patriotic ones is not far fetched: the Catechism addresses patriotism in its exegesis on the Fourth Commandment—"Honor your father and mother"—as an expression of filial piety to our fatherland. This means, as in a family, our interactions are meant for charity and the common good of all members, leading to growth in reverence toward our parents and, by extension, our fellow citizens and homeland (and ultimately, God).
Endless online pseudo-dialogue only compounds our poor practice of patriotism. Pope Francis addresses this failure of social networks to facilitate meaningful conversation in his most recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti:
Please read the rest over at Where Peter Is.