With the country starting up another bitter election cycle, our citizens mostly opposed to an overseas war, immigration forcing us to decide what an American is and isn’t, and the current president about as unpopular as they come, we’re about to celebrate another 4th of July.
Because we’re so divided, it seems, most of us are vaguely uncomfortable talking about issues like patriotism and it’s easier to drink a Bud at the fireworks than to think about what any of it means. Which, if you think about it, is probably all the more reason to try. So, in that spirit, here goes…
The birth of the United States of America was set in motion 231 years ago and I’m glad it was. When the Founding Fathers committed us to this grand experiment by breaking with Great Britain, they did a bold thing for their time and for all times. If you’d like to read the Declaration of Independence (which is something everybody probably thinks they’ve done but haven’t done in years and years), then CLICK HERE and read away. Just fragments in the reflecting pool, or something special?
I was going to write a little blurb here about how Hollywood views patriotism and the things that go with it like the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star-Spangled Banner and the like, but then I realized that was probably career suicide in a red-blue polarized country where patriotism itself can be a hot-button issue. That essay will have to wait for another time, I suppose.
Take the red pill or the blue pill? Or maybe the red-blue pill?
Everybody’s patriotism is different anyway, and there are many ways to look at your country. On this 231st birthday, then, here’s my state-of-mind:
We are deeply divided, but we’ve been deeply divided many times before.
We have many problems, but there have always been problems and we continue to work on them from one generation to another. Things aren’t perfect, I know that, but I’m still proud to be a citizen of the United States of America. I’ve traveled the world a bit, and I love the diversity of this endangered planet we live on, but this is my home and I like it enough to stay involved with it.
We remain a country of great promise. We have done great things and more great things are in our future. We’re not done. No matter which side you’re on of a particular issue, if you think the country is going down the wrong path, we have shown the capability of re-generation and growth. Staying involved is the key. Oh, say, can you see?
We’ve made mistakes (some big ones) and we will make more mistakes. But our long arc is still to the positive, most especially when compared to some of the truly horrific things that can happen and have happened around the world, both now and in the past. We aren’t done but we are still going about the work of building a more perfect union and that’s a very good thing.
To the men and women representing America overseas who aren’t home with their families, thank you for your service. We hope to see you back home with us soon. I remain in awe of your courage and your spirit. Don’t mess with Uncle Sam!
As we said, the polls now say that most Americans aren’t fans of President Bush. That’s okay, too, our country is unique in the fearlessness with which our citizens can express such condemnations of their leaders. Disapproval of the current White House occupant, however, doesn’t have to diminish love of country.
On this day, I would simply point out that there is still so very much to love about the United States. I’d ask us all to think a little less about demonizing the people who disagree with us on various issues and spend a little more effort treating them with respect. This applies to Democrats and Republicans. Like a lot of Americans, I’m sick of the hate-vibe that comes from the Michael Moores on the left and the Ann Coulters on the right. Listen up, people, let’s knock this off and get to work solving problems. It’s a dangerous world out there and we have enough to do without fighting so bitterly with each other.
This holiday my family will be doing some grilling, catching some tunes and watching some fireworks. Embarrassing as it is, that would be me below with enough tri-tip on the BBQ to feed the neighborhood at our big early get-together last 4th of July. Hope you and your family are together.
This land is my land, this land is your land.
So, Happy 231st birthday America… keep it comin’… we’ll be there to help out…
At least that’s my opinion — For What It’s Worth…
With the country starting up another bitter election cycle, our citizens mostly opposed to an overseas war, immigration forcing us to decide what an American is and isn’t, and the current president about as unpopular as they come, we’re about to celebrate another 4th of July. Because we’re so divided, it seems, most of us are vaguely uncomfortable talking about issues like patriotism and it’s easier to drink a Bud at the fireworks than to think about what any of it means. Which, if you think about it, is probably all the more reason to try. So, in that spirit, here goes…
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here