I left considerReconsider’s calendar square for Independence Day blank for a reason. I simply don’t know what to say.
My wife say’s I’m as patriotic as any [[Hank Hill]], and bear the Colors regularly at parades and other functions. But I have no illusions about America. We have had to overcome the same injustices as the worst of other nations, and have in recent times succumbed to (or even spearheaded) a growing global surveillance paradigm. Fear of a police state is based on volumes of incidents, not rhetoric or mass hysteria. Half the [[Bill of Rights]] has been all but buried under apathy, progressive distortion, and revisionist history. Civics are no longer taught, and once-considered-radical “experts” now re-frame the values that safeguarded us thus far as outmoded or morally inferior to political sentiments worthy of our [[Cold War]] adversaries.
Again, I am not romanticizing some “good ole days” while ignoring the fact that women didn’t vote, natives were herded by genocidal boys in blue, and the destiny of dark-skinned men were not of their own determination. The America I love is the America that perhaps never was, but always should have been. It is the country where a prosperous crop of opportunities and freedoms had been sown and harvested like no other time and place in history. In some ways that country is still a real place. In some ways we still believe, and live up to it, and the correlation of belief and action is no coincidence.
But today, I remind us of the past and the present. First, I bring you Danny Glover reading a speech by Frederick Douglass, originally made on July 4, 1852.
And now I will end with a blog post that says what I have felt but was unable to put in my own words …
Today is July 4th. Today we celebrate our forefathers’ victory over tyranny and oppression. Today we are supposed to wave our flags and cheer for our freedoms. But today, if I’m to be honest, I feel kind of like a divorced man on his wedding anniversary. It is an occasion to remember a beautiful and joyous event, but I am left mourning what is lost rather than enjoying what was gained.