I’m going to write my Independence Day post today; tomorrow we are going for a family hike with the dogs up to a nearby lake.
As you guys already know, my July 4th posts usually revolve around 2 themes; the extraordinary event itself, an independent colony removing all bonds and associations from its mother country, and the capricious nature in which, defying logical and reason, a pip squeak rabble of loosely assembled colonies could go up against the greatest super power the world as ever seen, and win.
Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense that it was the height of folly to think that an island could legitimately govern a continent. Franklin wrote that circumstances made it impossible for reconciliation, that we were a new nation requiring a new and separate government. And all were soberly reverently aware that without the hand of providence (God and his good graces) they could never prevail.
Even a cursory review of those 8 years of conflict would show an absolute astonishment that such a thing could be done. The various forces shaping our destiny; capricious weather, luck (both good and bad depending on which side you are on) personality conflicts (in both armies) and a resolute dogmatic approach that Washington adopted early on, namely that as long as he kept his fighting force, regardless of size, in the field intact then the revolution and that new nation was still possible.
The conflict as it progressed was practically a laboratory of counterfactual history. Even the positive outcomes were never assured, creations of circumstances impossible to predict. There were so many moments when the cause teetered on the brink of disaster. A more likely outcome would have been expiration at birth.
Just to name a few; A mysterious fog saves Washington’s badly beaten army at Brooklyn (The American Revolution’s Dunkirk), Washington gambles everything on a surprise attack on Trenton Christmas Eve, Benedict Arnold disobeys orders and attacks winning the Battle of Saratoga, the victory that convinces France to put in with us, twice Washington carelessly rides too close to the enemy line and is nearly captured but miraculously gets away, and the two storms at New York Bay that seals the fate of Cornwallis at Yorktown, it is the stuff that would make guys like Clancy, Ambrose, or Cornwell laugh as just too ridiculous to believe.
This year I want to change gears a bit and talk about patriotism;
My first reaction was a re enforcement of a long-standing notion held that we really are 2 different species. It is inconceivable to me that my level of patriotism could somehow be manipulated by whoever is occupying the WH at any given time, ridiculous, yet, clearly we see that Democrats still have not gotten over the election (grow the fuck up already) and would willingly allow their affection for their country marred or influenced by any one election.
But then the obvious hits, Democrats were never really that patriotic to begin with as evidence by the graph. Even when their guy is the boss, their enthusiasm for love of country is luke warm at best.
Why do you think that is? Well, I got a few theories (spoiler alert, I’m going to indulge in some generalizations, live with it).
Democrats have never really bought into this whole American Exceptionalism equals prosperity thing. They view success as a zero sum game, that whatever gains one person makes due to his industry, intelligence or just plain good luck, that success has impoverished some one else who would have benefited otherwise. It is the “finite pie” theory that I have written about before, wealth can not be created, it can only be taken from someone else. For every rich person there is a poor person that was disenfranchised by the other’s success, success is by nature unjust. Democrats demonize the rich, not only because it plays well to their base (divide and conquer) but the assumption made is that it was obtained illegitimately, the inequity of it all is not compassionate and screams “rigged system”.
Democrats are all about presentation and image. Being patriotic is not cool, it’s atavistic, what the Republicans do. A patriot by definition is proud of the status quo so he is less likely to affect change, change is what it’s all about. There is too much suffering in the world, too much global warming, too much unhappiness caused by too many mean people, you can’t be proud of that. Democrats make fun of the NASCAR crowd, or the Tea Party folks, or those wearing the flag pin on their lapel. Flag lovers are common, simple, unrefined, rather ordinary compared to the free thinkers over on the left.
Democrats still suffer from the side affects of their unrequited love affair with socialism. Capitalist Imperialist America was built by impoverishing and exploiting others, at least that’s what their godfathers (Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn) preach. Altruism or doing good has never been the real motivator of all the evil America has perpetuated through out the world, it was always greed, avarice, and a hegemonic predilection towards mastery of others.
Democrats are unclear on the very concept of patriotism. They proclaim ,”Dissent is Patriotic”, but only if you are dissenting against the right foe. They throw around terms like “un-American”, and ,”That’s not who we are” towards policies they don’t like, but if you take them at their word as how they have defined America in the past, this type of behavior is exactly who we are, so which is it?
Edmund Burke once wrote ,” To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely”, I don’t think many Democrats think America is lovable. It’s not only a glass half full, the politics of identity require victims, victims by definition are oppressed folks and a country is not deserving of being loved if victims abound.
Circular thinking? of course.
In the same vein of past invocations to stress the message, not the messenger, it is that message that we should be proud of and inspires patriotism. It is the idea of America and those ideals that prevailed at its founding, that all men are created equal, are provided certain rights by nature, and governments are instituted for the sole purpose of preserving those rights. That, and the simple fact that the concept of American Exceptionalism is real, just ask the thousands every year that want to come here.
Anyway, happy 4th. Put your flag out, eat some good old-fashioned American food, spend time with family, and don’t forget how lucky we all are.