Fourth of July

I see various patriotic statements wafting about in the flag-waving breeze this year, and I wish I could wax enthusiastic over them. But it would be forced, and dishonest.

This nation I was born into — whose ideals are so much a part of my own makeup that I really can’t separate them from my identity — faces in the next fifty years the greatest challenge of its entire history. It faces a Perfect Storm, more than capable of destroying our democracy, our prosperity, our civilization.

It faces this, not with a common vision and unity of purpose, but divided, fractured, and squabbling over lies. It does so with its collective head buried in the sand and between its knees, denying there is any problem that cannot be solved by eliminating or silencing the “troublemakers” who live within this country, whether those be “liberals” or “conservatives” or “illegal aliens.” We have demagogues and propagandists among us who benefit from our divisions and our squabbling — they play us like a mad musician bowing an ill-tuned fiddle, hoping to incite a riot and make off with the box-office receipts in the confusion.

This Fourth of July, I am not sanguine about the prospects of the Great Experiment in Democracy begun on July 2 of 1776 and announced two days later.

I wish I could be.

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