July 4, 1776, is the day that final draft of the Declaration of Independence was agreed upon by the members of the Continental Congress. Then, fifty years later on July 4th 1826, two great Americans died. Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on that day. These two men, who vigorously disagreed with each other on a regular basis, embodied the American form of debate. Two people with completely different ideas, working together towards a common objective, an independent state.
July 4th for me, has always been about friends, family, BBQ’s, and fireworks. Everybody would rush to their local hardware store to get an American flag to put up on the house, because of a sense of pride to be an American. A sense of pride that we, as Americans, do the right thing. I enlisted in the army in the mid 90’s because I wanted to do my American duty, to protect the freedoms that were bestowed upon me from generations before.
I am sad to report, That for the past couple of years, I do not feel that sense of pride as I once did. I feel a sense of distress , a sense of confusion. What has happened to my once strong, proud country? The beacon of freedom after the fall of the Soviet Union, has turned into a beacon of corruption. With no formidable foe, the US has been left to lead the world, militarily unmatched, and morally inferior. With most Americans living in a world of excessive entertainment to distract from the real issues that threaten our existence, the balance are doing their best to stay aware of the issues that need to be questioned. However, questioning the status quo, has become an unpatriotic thing to do. People have been convinced by certain media outlets that opposing opinions should be ridiculed. Let us remember, that who we are as Americans, are, if nothing else, a group of people that are capable and respectful of conflicting opinions. As Voltaire said…”I do not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
We need to stop allowing media to pit us against each other. We need to hold our “elected” representatives accountable for corruption and the like. We need to escape the entertainment fog that disorients us so. We need to take accountability for our own actions. We need to end the reign of greed by a few, that is used to control the many. We need to take control with a baton of truth and a sword of integrity. We need to stop blindly celebrating something that is dwindling before our very eyes.
I love and support the United States. I will continue to support and defend the Constitution as I swore, upon my enlistment. As Mark Twain said, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and you government when it deserves it.” The only thing the government deserves currently, is a spanking.