Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence Day

I've spent part of the morning trying to explain Independence Day to the kids. I want them to understand that it means a lot more than just blowing shit up. The nine year old seems to be getting it a little, but the five year old is just kind of shrugging her shoulders...which is what five year olds do when you tell them just about anything.

I really want them to understand that this holiday really means more than getting drunk and lighting off fireworks (which is what most Americans seem to think it means.) I've never been what you would consider a hardcore patriot. Even though I think the US is great, and I'm happy to be living here, I also think that we have a lot of problems that needed to be fixed a while ago. I also think that the longer we go with politics as usual, the worse those problems are going to get. I do not, however, think that the exploits of the Tea Party are a way of solving our problems. Even though I do think the US is a great place, I think that in the last decade we've seen a definite rise in racism and classism, and I think these could be the ultimate downfall of our country. We've also seen a huge turn back towards fundamental religions, which is the opposite direction of where we need to be headed.

So, while you're enjoying your fireworks tonight, please take a few moments to remember what it was that made this country great...and hopefully we can rediscover that in our country and in ourselves very soon...

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