Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day



I had this plan for this Independence Day post, but then I realized: I'm still looking for a job. And, like it or not, if people are Googling my name and (1) locate The League, (2) can get past the fact that I'm obviously a huge dork, (3) and don't agree with me about, say, Wall-E, I'd hate for (4) something I'd say in espousing my personal philosophy regarding Independence to keep me from getting an interview.

Suffice it to say, without getting all Toby Keith on you, I am aware of the virtues of living and working in a country which was established with no smaller goal in mind than the liberty and freedom of its citizens. And I am proud that in the history of the United States, we seem to take the idea of equal rights for our people so seriously that we're able to make steps forward, changing both law and society, and eventually hearts and minds. 1920 may seem a little late to have finally granted women the right to vote (and it was), but it DID happen. And though progress may be slow, the march of history in the US points in the direction of shared rights and privileges for all of us.

I salute the dream of forefathers who conceived of a place where the citizenry could publicly question the will of the government with no fear of reprisal, and who insisted that the voice of the people would guide how those selected for office might govern.

I am a flag waver. There's a 3x5' flag hanging from my front porch. But I don't labor under any delusion that flags or pins or whatever magnet or sticker is trendy to have on your car is some indicator of how much more I love my country than the next person. I'm happy to hang the flag when I think of the achievements of the US, and the amazing ideals upon which the county was founded. And how we strive to build upon that foundation, pushing forward not toward being necessarily a nation known for its might, but as an ideal for government, justice and personal liberty. That a love of commerce is not our only ideal, and the pursuit of filling our coffers is not the sole drive for our nation and its choices.

We're better than that. And the Fourth is a chance not just to grill up a burger, get a sunburn and watch some fireworks, but its a chance to remember the ideals laid out in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And how each of us is a steward of those ideals for ourselves, our community and the world the next generation will inherit. And the generation after that.

It's my greatest hope that technology and wise choices will leave the United States of the July 4th, 2108 looking back at us with the same disbelief we reserve for the social inequality of our own nation from 100 years ago. And that, maybe, just maybe, we'll have found as-yet-untapped wisdom to live as neighbors with all nations.

Even Canada. Who would gladly invade us and take our stuff if we were not to remain vigilant.

11 comments:

Meredith said...

Amen! Hallelujah! Happy 4th.....and you are RIGHT about those damn Canadians, eh...

Simon Mac Donald said...

Speaking for all Canadians, we don't want your stuff but if you could send some better wireless data plans for cell phone service our way we'd be much obliged.

Steven G. Harms said...

only if you send us a tim horton's.

and a national apology for “The Love Guru”

The League said...

I am concerned about the poor wireless data plans our northern brethren are suffering through. This cannot stand! I suggest a letter to the Queen.

Simon Mac Donald said...

Well there are 400 Tim Horton's open in the US and we are marching south just as fast as we can.

Ug, I'm a huge Mike Myers fan back from his SNL days. His "So I Married and Axe Murderer" was sublime but even I am trying to convince myself that "The Love Guru" ever existed. Did you actually pay to see that drivel?

Believe me, the Queen knows all about our wireless data plan problem and she is not amused.

Steanso said...

I hope you're right about our forward march toward greater equality and liberty in America. It feels to me like we've taken some steps backward in recent years... The Patriot Act (along with warrantless home searches and so forth), domestic wiretapping, the influence of special interest money in Washington, recent practices of holding people who have been unilaterally labeled "enemy combatants" indefinitely, and the recent practice of trying to label a presidential candidate as a Muslim (as if that were something to be ashamed of) ... all of these things and more which have occurred over the last 8 years worry me when we talk about equality and freedom in this country. But I know that a lot of other Americans are worried and speak out against these things as well, so I have a lot of hope that things will improve.
Anyway, I'm still proud of my country (and I don't mean to rain on the July 4th parade), but I wish sometimes that we would strive harder to live up to the ideals that our nation was founded on. At least we have the freedom to continually work toward that end.

Meredith said...

Steanso, you are a buzz kill.....you forgot one of America's crowning achievements while all of the above you listed has been going on....we did get American Idol. That in and of itself is a feather in our cap.

The League said...

Thank you, Meredith. Someone had to say it.

Meredith said...

Yes, you can count on me to tell it when it needs to be told.....tell your brother to get out more and have more fun.....

Steanso said...

If American Idol is our crowning achievement then I'm lighting myself on fire.

Steanso said...

... and isn't that show a ripoff of some British show? Jeez, we didn't even come up with that piece of crap...