Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 230th!

There are lots of holidays that tend to depress people. Christmas is infamous. Valentine's Day is another example. But, being the political animal that I am, I tend to get a little turned off by July 4th.

Over the past couple of days, I've watched hundreds of people stock up on beer and beef. I've witnessed my neighbors blowing shit up in their driveway. I've seen people wear flag themed clothing. I've seen American flags placed in all manner of undignified positions (where's the Constitutional amendment banning that?). In short, I've seen people mindlessly throw up flags while seeming to care about nothing but their families and getting wasted. Not that those are bad things, but I can't help but think that very, very few people actually thought about what happened 230 years ago.

Back then, a group of ridiculously brave people publicly renounced their government, one of the most powerful in the world, for a set of ideals, fully knowing they would probably pay dearly for it. And many of them did. Now on the anniversary, 230 years later, their sacrifice has been reduced to beer and firecrackers.

People don't seem to understand that patriotism is much more than "rah, rah, we're the best" bullshit. That's not patriotism. That is nationalism. What people don't understand is that patriotism is not something exercised on July 4th and every time there's an international sporting event. It's a way of life. Are you thinking about our history once a month and doing whatever you want the rest of the time? Our government certainly is. But we should be living and governing according to our country's original ideals. We should each do something from time to time, big or small, to make this country better. At the very least, show up at the damn polls once a year.

We might be the most powerful country in the world, but we'll never be the greatest country in the world until we citizens start acting like it.

Fortunately, Charlottesville is host to an incredible display of our country's ideals every July 4th at Monticello. Rick Sincere was able to attend today. To all you brand new citizens, be sure to use your experiences to let us know what we should be doing and what we shouldn't be doing. Welcome.


Blogger geevroom said...

I know over the years, expecially when my brother was in the Marines, I really had a hard time when holidays (memorial day, 4th of July, Labor day, etc.) were narrowed down to a trip to the gocery store and such. I still struggle with it, I strongly feel that we as Americans have become so lazy about being invloved in our government, no wonder it is a mess, they get a way with it all. I read more of your blog and I am surprised that you had only one thing to say on the immigrant issue, i am curious though.... keep typing away and getting your voice out. gee

7/09/2006 12:18 AM  

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