For some inexplicable reason, the Spanish left feels discomfort or shame at the idea of Spain. A phenomenon that does not occur in most European countries, where progressive leaders have no problem identifying with their homeland. It could be attributed to a ‘genetic’ reaction against the cañí jingoism of the Franco regime, but it happens that the dictatorship was shorter, including the war years, than the current democratic stage and there has been plenty of time to overcome certain defects. The internationalist vocation of Marxism is not enough either because it contradicts the manifest proclivity towards Basque and Catalan identity mythology. And the third possible thesis, that of the desire to differentiate itself from the right, is easy to refute.
from the opposite perspective: liberal and conservative thought has limited itself to occupying the territory that the adversary renounced. The reality, in any case, is that our socialists and communists are incapable of embracing without hesitation the elementary political notion of any sovereign community. They prefer to speak of the State or the people to avoid the damn word or they wrap it in justifying circumlocution that reveals an instinctive distrust.
They are within their rights, of course, but the complaint that this embarrassing scruples – that of the “disputed and debatable” concept of ZP – has handed over the exclusive defense of the nation and even of its symbols to the right is not understood. And not all, even if it seems so, because today only the liberal paradigm represents the constitutional model of coexistence. The PSOE, which during the felipismo managed to embody it in a better or worse way, has abandoned it by renting power to a sectarian amalgam of anti-system forces. How far is the time (so recent, however) when Sánchez decorated a meeting with a gigantic flag; We must have realized that the scene of that staging was a circus. Be that as it may, that desertion has yielded to whoever wants to occupy it an immense political and sentimental space through which an enormous plurality of citizens travels. An area of understanding and rights where everyone walks by their side but is capable of generating a strong community bond that comes to light when it suffers the impact of an aggression such as the separatist revolt four years ago. It is the awareness of shared freedoms under the same framework that defines the meaning, legitimacy and scope of contemporary patriotism.
That is why the decisive question of the next electoral confrontation, beyond the state of the economy, is that of the strength of the national bond in the face of the disruptive challenge that questions not only territorial integrity – ensured in spite of everything by more solid institutions than what some believed – but the project of Spain as a guarantee of civic cohesion.