How the candidates define their love of country may help determine the election's outcome. Time asked each for his view of the meaning of patriotism. Here's how they responded:
A Cause Greater Than Self
by John McCain
Patriotism means more than holding your hand over your heart during the national anthem. It means more than walking into a voting booth every two or four years and pulling a lever. Patriotism is a love and a duty, a love of country expressed in good citizenship . . .
A Faith in Simple Dreams
by Barack Obama
When I was a child, I lived overseas for a time with my mother. And one of my earliest memories is of her reading to me the first lines of the Declaration of Independence, explaining how its ideas applied to every American, black and white and brown alike. She taught me that those words, and the words of the United States Constitution, protected us from the brutal injustices we witnessed other people suffer during those years abroad . . .