We have just observed another Independence Day, or as is is often called, The Fourth of July. No matter, they both mean the same thing. A day to commemorate the establishment of the United States of America. A country still unique in all history as a place and as a government committed to the principle that “all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
We tend to forget how unusual this concept of government was at the time it was established, and is still unique in most of the world today. Just think about how much of the population of world is still dominated by dictators, religious leaders, and others whose power is not supported by the will of the people, but by popular control through might of arms and intimidation. China, Libya, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and even Mexico, come to mind. Why do you think they are streaming across our borders just to get in, with or without citizenship?
The Fourth of July – Independence Day. Put it up there with mom, baseball, and apple pie as being truly American. A cause, a way of life. Why there was even a time when we had a Fourth of July parade in every small town across America with Uncle Sam and everything! We weren’t Republicans or Democrats. We were Americans! But what has happened to us. Has everything now become politicized? A newHarvardUniversitystudy reveals the following:
“Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation’s political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favor of the Republican Party.” According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican Party, write Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drottand and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam.”
Now this may sound like a great endorsement of Republican politics. And as a Republican, I am pleased that a liberal establishment such as Harvard University would have noticed. But what does it say about the rest of us.
We live in a society where many consider patriotism as being the expression of a bunch of kooks, or even worse, “Tea Baggers”. Burning or spitting on the American flag seems to be much more popular, and many communities are prohibiting the flying of the American flag in a homeowner’s front yard. . . even if the homeowner, as recently reported, is a disabled veteran who sacrificed a leg for the privilege of being able to do so. I recently spoke with a group going door to door requesting names for a petition they were presenting. They told me that out of the thousands of homes they visited, one could count on the fingers of one hand the number of flags flying in front of houses with Democrat voters in resident, while they had seen many flags in the yards of Republicans.
If I were a Democrat I would be ashamed to be considered a member of a group that has so isolated itself from the principles that founded our great nation that the celebration of Independence Day is now considered to be the exclusive province of the Republican Party.