Happy Fourth of July, I Guess

Updated on July 4, 2018

Patriotism is not Mandatory (thankfully)

I'm not feeling particularly patriotic this Fourth of July. I imagine that some people, assuming anyone even starts reading this little blog at all, will stop after that first sentence. But please bear with me. I am not about to go off on an anti-American rant. Like everyone else I suppose, I have limited control of my emotions. The important thing is what I will do or not do with these feelings of negativity.

The main feeling I have toward my country these days is embarrassment. From what I can gather, there are many other Americans who feel the same. I have this strange burning desire to hug a Canadian and explain that not all of us Americans have gone off the deep end. A part of me is also wondering if there are some not so freaking cold parts of Canada where we may some day go to retire.

So I will not be found tomorrow tearing up at the sound of the national anthem or swelling with pride when I see an orgy of flags fluttering in the breeze. Don't get me wrong. I will still be eating some barbeque, drinking a bit of beer, and watching fireworks blow up. I'm not a freaking communist after all. But I doubt that I will be feeling much of anything that resembles pride in my country.

There are still some things, however, that I like about living in this society that seems to get more materialistic, arrogant, and ignorant all the time. (Or at least that's how it feels.) One is the fact that I can still, in the year 2018, post a blog for my countrymen and world to see (assuming anyone actually reads it) and say that I am not feeling a lot of love for my government and country in general without fear of any kind of significant reprisal, and I think that the overwhelming majority of Americans want to keep it that way.

People who say, "love it or leave it" don't seem to get what this country is at its best. We live in a place where no one is obligated to love or even like living here. And thankfully, no one is mandated to participate in patriotic rituals that have no meaning when they are mandated. So if you want to get all patriotic tomorrow or any other day of the year, knock yourself out. But if you are as good of an American as you say you are, don't pressure anyone else to join you. And if anyone tries to stop you from waving your flag, feel free to call them a bad American for me.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Freeway Flyer profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Swendson 

      2 months ago

      Yes, I hope that our current president understands the importance of remembering our allies. Good friends can be hard to find.

    • Freeway Flyer profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Swendson 

      2 months ago

      Well said. Whether or not the United States always lives up to the noble principles on which it is founded, those principles still matter. And partly because of the inspiration of those principles, the United States in many ways is a better country than when it was founded. I try to remember that when I get depressed about the current state of affairs.

    • hard sun profile image

      Don Shepard 

      2 months ago

      Pretty much sums it up for me. I'm choosing to remember the importance of our allies this Fourth of July. Thanks to France for all of its support during our Revolutionary War.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      2 months ago from the short journey

      No matter what country we live in there will be things we like and dislike about it. The fact is, though, that as an American I'm thankful to be one. As for Canadians, take comfort, they are not all so stupid as to think all Americans are the same. Many of us say HURRAH with our Canadian friends on their holidays and many there say the same to us on ours in spite of what media tries to tell us.

      Patriotism can't be mandated, though many dictators have tried. It's a bit like the child told to sit in the corner for bad behavior..."I may be sitting on the outside but I'm standing on the inside!" If I'm working for my employer on a patriotic holiday then I have a duty to do what he says about observing the day whether I agree or not, but as an American if I'm on my own time then I am indeed free to both observe the day as I please and free to encourage (but should not try to pressure) others to observe it the same way.

      Pressuring tends to make people dig their heels in on any issue so it's unproductive anyway. If the pressure mentioned here has to do with all the sports brouhaha re the flag then that makes me look at both sides, meaning pressure from athletes who take people's money (a lot of their money!) for entertainment yet want to make them think about politics when they paid to relax.

      True gratitude can take us a long way in life. There's never been a time in history when this or any other country did not have things to be proud of and things to be grieved over, but no country has been a Republic like ours, given so much aid and opportunity to so many, or had so many citizens give so much for their fellow countrymen to have so much to be thankful for, which is why some will say love it or leave it.

      That is not to say that other countries have not done well, but ours is unique in many ways. The great American experiment may yet fail as Franklin warned when on leaving Independence Hall in 1787 he was queried about what sort of country had been given the people, "A Republic, if you can keep it." Why he said that is an interesting study.

      This has such a good closing that I had to think through the various messages in the post. My conclusion is that no matter what country we belong to we should commend what is good, raise the bar for those around us in all areas, and work together in an honest manner to solve problems.

      In a 1981 Yorktown speech it was declared that, "Our Declaration of Independence has been copied by emerging nations around the globe, its themes adopted in places many of us have never heard of. Here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights. We the people declared that the government is created by the people for their own convenience."

      In America too many have become ashamed of the freedom to own and guard our story and to respond to situations by choosing to do good no matter what vicious things anyone else says or does. Positive change begins one person at a time and hopefully there will be discussions around picnic tables this summer that help people grow up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)