Fourth of July

Founded, Not Forsaken: A Republic (if you can keep it)

Happy Fourth of July, folks.

"Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?"

"A Republic, if you can keep it."

      -- Ben Franklin to an unknown lady,
        per the notes of delegate Dr. James McHenry of Maryland.

We've been called worse. A corporatocracy, an oligarchy, a plutocracy...whichever the definition, they seem to be far and away quite different from the initial goal of a republic. But across all forms, regardless, is the ever-present and apparently common denominator of national pride, perversely corrupted and reduced to nationalism and jingoism.

The two should never, ever be mistaken for a true, uniquely American definition of "patriotism" nor should they ever be used to justify war or to quell dissent.

Fourth Of July Reflections


I didn't spend my Fourth of July in celebration the way I usually do. I had a lot of other things going on; it was the first time in a very long time that I hadn't partaken.

Last night and this morning, I had a lot of time to reflect on what the holiday meant -- and means -- to me.

Juxtaposition: July 4th Deadly Duality


Hat-tip Rex and KNIHT2

A comment I happened across on Delphi Forums struck me as particularly significant for some reason. It was this:

_____

On this date in 1826, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within hours of each other. Today, it's Jesse Helms and Bozo the Clown. Gives you pause for reflection, yes it does...

_____

Bozo the Clown -- an iconic figure known for entertaining children and who many adults may remember from their childhood memories...an apt reference, given that roughly half the nation still plays childish games with name-calling and cliquish groups of exclusionary focus. Too many of them apparently missed the message of Bozo.

Jesse Helms, a powerful icon as well -- one who fought against racial equality and gay rights.