Yesterday was Independence Day and I have some mixed feelings about that. For most of my life, this was my second favorite holiday. But as I have gotten older, I have gained a little more perspective and perhaps become a little bit more jaded.
Independence Day just seems like a way to beat our chests as Americans rather than think about the ideals of this nation’s more prominent founders. It seems like this type of patriotism has become a religion all its own and the religious believers of American Exceptionalism seem to be exceptional at one thing – claiming how exceptional they are. Oh, that and being completely brainwashed by politicians.
I’ve lost my faith in this religion. I don’t see Democratic politicians as the answer either. It just seems like the system is rigged. The government for the people and by the people has become a government that no longer cares about the people at all. He who has the gold makes the rules.
I no longer know if the Democrats are just in on the game or if they are just ridiculously stupid, but if something doesn’t change soon then it might be time for another revolution or something. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to advocate for violence here. That type of revolution was so last century. Now we have the internets.
Getting back to the point, I used to always read the Declaration of Independence on this holiday and watch the film adaptation of the musical 1776. I used to be proud to be American because it meant that I was part of something great. I was part of a nation that had lofty ideals of freedom, individualism, secularism, diversity, and liberty and justice for all. But thinking about it now, that was kind of naïve.
So now, when I hear calls for patriotism or the aggrandizing of America, I stop and pause. What is it that we are really celebrating? I no longer think that it is the ideals that I once thought embodied America. I’m not even sure America ever really embodied those ideas. I think it is more likely that I was brainwashed into think we did to help foster a faith in nationalism.
I still do believe in those ideals and I still want America to embody those ideals, but I just don’t see it with our current crop of politicians or any politicians we are likely to see in the foreseeable future. Something has to change. People have to change. We the people have to change.