Upon contemplating what to write about for this 4th of July – Independence Day – column, admittedly, I wasn’t really that motivated to write a typical “patriotic” theme piece. I am sure you are familiar with those types of commemorative narratives where the author reminiscently reflects upon the magic of the day making note of the backyard celebrations, face-painted kids, fireworks, hot dogs and hamburgers all the while effortlessly and delicately mixing it all together with a message of the “true meaning of the day” – sort of like a cool summer fruit salad.
Sorry, but my heart and mind just aren’t feeling it.
Perhaps it’s because of all the upheaval, uncertainty, discourse, violence and well – hatred going in our communities, our country and, for that matter, the whole planet. So, I apologize in advance to you, the readers, for I imagine you were expecting the ritualistic holiday version. But anyone who knows me and the Viper One Six column and its’ historical content are probably aware that I can only voice my own honest thoughts, opinions and expressions. I might be wrong but we are celebrating Independence Day and its fullest meaning and I am allowed to exercise my rights and liberties, right?
What I am thinking about this weekend is how the founding citizens of this great Democratic Republic celebrated Independence Day while they were still fighting and dying for it from 1775 to 1783.
Fighting and dying for our independence and the future Republic – think about that in its fullest context just for a moment.
Anyways, I have been reading and reflecting on the writings of people like Thomas Payne and his revolutionary (pun intended) pamphlet “Common Sense” as well as those of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. In so doing, I consider how different things are today from those early days of our nation’s founding and how, I believe, we have lost our way as a nation and as a people.
Sure, in 1776 and for many years onward, citizens would gather and celebrate in ways similar to how we do it today. In fact, John Adams documented these celebratory activities in his letter to his wife, Abigail, on July 2nd, 1776 saying “the day will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and parade…games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”
Other descriptions of the day’s festivities included the firing of cannons and muskets (imagine that) as well as concerts and get this – people actually gathered around in groups to listen to someone read a copy of the actual Declaration of Independence document.
Can you believe that? I mean, think about it for a second. The all-knowing internet wasn’t available. There was no Google, no Apple, no TV, no loud speakers, nothing – nada. Just respectable Americans (new Americans at that) gathering ‘round the town square to hear guys like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, the town mayor or even – God forbid –a veteran read this vitally important, ground breaking and transformative document.
Heck today, I think even John Adams, the 2nd President of America, (you do recall him from your elementary school days, right?) would get heckled for displaying such patriotism in a public setting.
Why am I not feeling the typical backyard BBQ and fireworks display energy associated with this awesome holiday you may ask? Because, unfortunately I believe there is something serious wrong in our country and we are headed in a disastrous direction.
Look around at how often free speech, the right to peaceful assembly and the exhibition of American Patriotism are coming under intense attack today. Advocating and defending Christianity, speaking out for conservative ideals and values and simply displaying patriotic values is not welcomed in our nation today.
Certainly, reciting a Christian prayer at a meeting or under your breath on a ball field or as a high school football coach seeking to provide a small measure of spiritual motivation to the team will get someone fired after a minority group cries foul.
Without question, the decision to attend a presidential rally in order to listen to candidate for President of the United States now has to be carefully considered and a thorough Threat Assessment conducted because you may be violently attacked by the liberal Left extremist groups.
The truth is when a conservative stands up for veterans, public safety officials and law enforcement they better assume that they will be targeted. The number of violent incidents against these groups and those who stand with them is on the rise as perpetrated by these extremists.
Reciting “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” is a big no-no. Oh yeah, don’t do it.
Flying Old Glory, having a Christian crucifix on a mountain top, on the front of a building or in a yard or displaying the Ten Commandments are no longer welcomed expressions in many of our institutions and public spaces. Don’t get that crazy idea and engage in any of that nonsense because some idiot might possibly be offended (for what reason I cannot imagine) and yell “macro or micro-aggression” all the while pointing at you in a hysterical fashion. Sort of like Donald Sutherland in that 1978 movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.
These attacks do not end where public property ends but venture well onto private lands and property. Citizens all over our country are attacked on their own property for displaying the American flag by small, very vocal, powerful, and liberally funded activist groups doing the work on behalf of the ultra-rich elitist Left.
Our institutions of higher learning now spend millions of dollars to promulgate the insane liberals ideas designed to control the masses and spark fear into conservatives. Take for example the recent University of North Carolina study that stated that complementing someone’s shoes, listing “male” or “female” on a form, recognizing a fellow worker or saying “Christmas vacation” are all serious micro-aggressions.
Their goal is simply behavior control with less personal freedom and free will being the desired end state.
This is the nation we live in today – a nation of the controlled and the controlling. I’m sorry, but, this all doesn’t sound nor appear very “independent” to me. Actually more like “dependent”.
But as the saying goes – “Don’t tread on me” (another intentionally used historical revolutionary pun – look it up).
May we not trample upon the sacred ground laden with the spilled blood of our forbearers, the sweat from hard work of the working class over the generations, by the endless sacrifices of our military members’ and the men and women in blue who keep us safe and fight the good fight. Great Americans, then and now.
Happy 240th Birthday America!
Viper One Six – Out