In the spirit of this celebration, I have a recommendation for you: start watching the History Channel’s mini-series The Revolution. It’s one of the best documentary series I have watched, particularly due to the variety of POV’s brought to the table by the experts they interviewed. That West Point dude is hardcore.
Also here are some hi-res images of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution etc. They’re JPEG, which is weak sauce, but still. Patriots delight.
Patriotism in a time as frustrating as ours can be dangerous. People think you’re crazy or stupid or evil. Here’s my deal: my love America is for the ideals, not necessarily all current practices. Inalienable human rights. The self-evident truths. A more perfect union. Above all, liberty.
When our elected leaders do things in accord with our ideals, I applaud them. When they do not, I malign them, and as I do I take comfort in the fact that they can be voted out of office. We don’t have to wake up each morning and hope that the dictator dies soon, and that his son will be better to us than he is.
A difficulty comes when the will of the people is wrong, by which I mean it does not live up to the aforementioned ideals. Thus a republic can be better than a democracy, but only when the leaders are virtuous. A healthy mix of both seems to be working out fairly well.
Thus, I urge you to celebrate our freedoms and liberties today. Wave a flag and love the nation that should be, and mostly is. If this were a speech, I believe I would have the audacity to recite the preamble to the Constitution right now, but instead I’ll just link to it.