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Happy Fourth of July, I Guess


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.

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