Patriotism, blue-style

I attended my community’s Fourth of July celebrations today, which were a lot of fun in a street fair kind of way. What I noticed, though, was that, aside from a plethora of red, white and blue, there was absolutely nothing about the American Revolution or the principles for which America stands. No one was dressed as George Washington, no one remembered the Minute Men, there was no mention of the Declaration of Independence. It was, in a very nice, community way, just another day to party. At the home front, neither of my elementary school age children had any idea what the Fourth commemorated, and both needed quick history lesson.

On the positive side, nothing negative occurred, although there were a handful of people festooned with signs saying “Peace can’t wait ’til 2008.” While I understand the literal words, I really wonder if these people have any idea that you can’t have “peace” if one side has no terms other than the complete take over of the world. Put another way, the peace our enemies demand, and the peace our anti-War activists apparently crave with their calls for unilateral surrender, is peace in accord with the Roman model — “they make a desert and call it peace.” (Actually, Tacitus’ full quotation, which I had never heard, is even more apt: Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant, or “To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”)

It turns out that I should count myself fortunate that it wasn’t worse. Apparently I insulated myself by avoiding the opinion pages at our major news publications. Here’s what Charlotte Hays, writing at the Independent Women’s Forum, has to say about the 4th Estate and the 4th:

I can’t help noticing on the Fourth what celebratory conventions rule at a major metropolitan daily. Let’s see: In the Style section, there was a story on George Washington as a slaveholder, as discovered by archeologists (“Plain as Dirt: History without Gimmickry”). On the editorial page, Columbia University law prof writes about the Declaration of Independence (“A Declaration the President Ignores”). (“The tragedy of the post-Sept. 11 American assault on the laws of war is that it seems to have been not only shameful but self-defeating”). For Michael Gerson, a former Bush speechwriter, the Fourth is about loving America warts and all. The warts are big as warthogs. (“The war that ended slavery, it turned out, did not end oppression.) That’s about as good as it gets.

The Captain, incidentally, did a very nice celebration of America and Americans:

Today we celebrate the birth of our nation, as conceived by a group of men in a Pennsylvania hall who many considered at the time as traitors. They dared to imagine a nation whose leaders would not be derived from notions of royalty nor from the power of arms, but chosen by free people as leaders accountable to the populace. They took the ethereal notions that sprang from the Enlightenment and dared to make them a reality — hoping that this radical experiment would take root in the North American continent, but having no clue that it would become a shining beacon for the entire world over the next two centuries.

***

We have been far from perfect, but we have recognized our failures and prevailed over them in the fullness of time. Winston Churchill once said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others — and we have been the model for that, for better and worse. America has been a beacon of hope for the world for centuries, not just because of the words in our Declaration and Constitution, but because we as a people try our best to live up to them.

You can also check out two good Independence Day posts at Flopping Aces, here and here.

9 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting. There will be no peace, not for a very long time. I dont think peace can be made with Islamofascism. The terrorists just need to be put down like rabid dogs, and their ideology/religion smashed.

  2. Book,
    The education bureaucracy in this country has a lot to answer for, but arguably the most despicable project they are putting forward is the Orwellian one of reinventing our history and defaming the Founders. One can only imagine Abraham Lincoln’s reaction to seeing school children ignorant of the meaning of the 4th, and to seeing that the general intent and purpose of what remains of “civics” in our schools is to denigrate this nation and its principles.

    Sad times are these when wandering peaceniks can say “ne!” to festival-goers at will!

  3. Book,

    It may cheer you to know that our town held its annual 4th of July “Kids and Pets” parade down Main street (yep that is what it is named). The upside of the explosive growth that our community has endured in recent years is that there are more and more kids and pets in the parade each year. I think the highlight this year was the first, hopefully annual, appearance of the goat pulling the wagon decorated with red, white, and blue festoonery. In the spirit of National Unity, there were no dog fights noted. However, I did not see any cats participating.

    But to the main point. At the end of the parade (4 blocks long) everyone gathered in the shade of the huge oak in front of the historic court house and a community band played stirring marches. Then President of the group which organizes the parade led the crowd in “The Pledge of Allegiance”; yes, the words “Under God” were clearly spoken (we are in Virginia). Then a local woman offered a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. Following some blessedly short speeches by local politicians, the kids were fed pizza and ice cream courtesy of some local free enterprises.

    As we headed out for the car, the band had resumed their play. Not as perfect as the National Symphony on the DC Mall, but totally authentic.

  4. Ha ha ha ha This woman’s scorn extends to anyone who fails to adhere to her elevated standards of …. well, you know, to all of those who aren’t her. (If only those Marin County American flags had been festoned with a star of David or two, that’s all she frothingly demands.)

  5. Have you checked the ips of these folks to see if they are from the same spot, Book? I got a forever fan in DC, a University no less.

  6. hey don,
    you must really be conflicted over whether the hammer and sickle or the swastika best suits your pathetic inferiority complex. take your leftist antisemitic bluster and stuff it pal

  7. Don’t hold back, pacificus, baby

  8. Book,

    Perhaps it is a badge of honor that you are attacked by such dedicated, if obvious, looneys. Fortunately their meaness of spirit is offset by lack of numbers.

    It must be scarey for some of your more rabid antagonists when, or if, they look in the mirror. OOOOH!

  9. Lack of guns and lack of competency in how to use them, Old.

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