Monday, July 04, 2005

Chin Up, Liberals – The Fourth Is Our Day

"...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..."
Happy Fourth of July, one and all...

I think it's very possible for those of us on the left to feel a bit empty and cheated on the Fourth of July. We oppose so much of how our government conducts its business now and, by extension, that can leave us feeling disappointed and alienated from our sense of belonging and national pride.

But that need not be the case.

Like all nations, America's affairs are an ebb and flow, with change as the only constant. Good times can become bad, but bad times can also lead to growth, advancement and a stronger country.

And I say this to all liberals: America's Independence Day is our holiday too and I would argue that it is more ours than the property of the conservative movement or the Religious Right. I believe this is true because, inherent to so much they say and do, is a profound misunderstanding of what our country is about and why we fought for independence in the first place.

We understand the qualities that make the United States a wonderful place and it isn't that we have the biggest gun on the block. We know that America can indeed be the best hope for freedom in the world, that our people are kind and that our national capacity for good far exceeds the negative view the world has been given under the Bush administration.

We appreciate that we're free – at least for now – to criticize our leaders and to demand better from our representatives in Washington. And, what angers many of us the most about the last five years, is that our pride in what America can still be, must be eclipsed by the reality of what a relatively small number of people are doing to debase a fine nation.

More so than any fake patriot driving an eight-mile-per-gallon Hummer festooned with American flags, we feel in our guts what has made our country great and how it is threatened -- and we're willing to fight for it.

You get it. You are truly patriotic. So have a hotdog and drink a cold one. Watch some fireworks. Love our country.

Then let's go back to work getting rid of the bums who are ruining it for everyone.