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silverleaf 07-04-2017 12:25 PM

American Independence Day 2017
How to Be Patriotic in Trump's America - Rolling Stone


America has always demanded thoughtful patriotism, even if many of its citizens choose not to comply. The anniversary we're celebrating is a day when a group of white men many of whom owned their fellow human beings declared they and they alone had rights given to them by God. But that day and in the years to come they created a framework for the greatest expansion of human rights in history.

Over time the rights to speak and worship freely, vote for our representatives, own property, participate in civic life, and even marry has been expanded to larger and larger groups of people. Our Union is far from perfect no human institution ever will be. Millions of Americans face injustice every day because they're black or brown or women or gay or poor or for countless other reasons. But America is better than it was in 1776, and that progress is worth celebrating.

But plot that progress and you won't get a straight line or a smooth curve. There are dips and plunges: Supreme Court decisions like Plessy v Ferguson that cost people their humanity or attacks on our rights in the name of national security, like the internment of Japanese-Americans.

The moment we elected Donald Trump, America began a fresh decline. From his Muslim ban to his refusal to recognize Pride Month, every step President Trump has made has been a step in the wrong direction. He's rolling back progress made protecting our environment. He's working with Congress to take away Americans' health care.

But that's only part of the story. Trump isn't just another conservative politician. He isn't driven by ideology at all. He uses the power of the presidency to destroy faith in institutions critical to American democracy like an independent press and an independent judiciary. He's a ridiculous figure who regularly embarrasses himself with behavior that remind me of my four-year-old son in his worst moments. He's corrupt, using his position to line his pockets by regularly promoting his businesses. And he is now under investigation for potential obstruction of justice.

We've had bad presidents in the past. Trump isn't just a bad president; he's a bad human being. His presidency, just 23 weeks in, has made America an uglier and more unjust place. We knew what he was headed into his presidency. He didn't keep it a secret on the campaign trail, where he attacked the media and individual citizens and ran on a platform of racial resentment and fear.

Donald Trump makes it tough to celebrate America. Our greatness as a nation lies largely in our stability, and though that line of our progress may wobble, it is on a clear course. We argue and fight and veer wildly from one ideological direction to another, but our institutions persist (nevertheless). But in less than a half a year Trump has shown us just how fragile the American experiment has always been.

Clearly he should not be president. He doesn't have the temperament, the intelligence, the focus, or the dignity the office requires. Everything from his stupid tweets to firing Jim Comey to raising the price at Mar-a-Lago after his election to taking sides in the dispute between the Gulf states and Qatar should be enough to sink his presidency. But with the majority of Congress concerned more about their political futures than the future of the nation, his grip on the White House hasn't loosened.

Cancel the fireworks? Forget the pie? How can we be patriotic in Trump's America?

We can because we have to. Our deeply flawed Founders were fighting injustice, and so many have given up so much to expand and continue that fight. White supremacy is real. Sexism is real. Homophobia and xenophobia are real. And when we fight them, we are loving America because we are striving for that more perfect Union we all deserve.

So this Independence Day, don't shy away from patriotism. Embrace it. Make it yours. Declare your love for America by promising to fight every day to make it better, to resist our repugnant president and everyone who supports his regressive agenda.

silverleaf 07-04-2017 12:25 PM

moketweed 07-04-2017 02:04 PM

I got a few angry looks as left my hat on during to national anthem and didn't clap for the military personnel that were marching in the local 1 1/2 hour 4th of July parade in my home town.... And I caught the local priest angrily admiring my sigil of baphomet tattoo... I love small towns

Hyperbole 07-04-2017 03:29 PM

My church gets mildly nationalistic during these times, not in a right or left political way, but in a omg america is great lets clap for the military and whatnot. Its mild and honestly I still do appreciate the freedoms we have left. On the surface it's whatever, something I can over look as its not wrong, I just don't like it.

However the reality is that, nationalism and imperialism are diseases. They are the measles and polio of the people. America has acute cases of both and its really gross.

This country has done unspeakable things to its people and the world around it. It is not forgivable when a country is so unrepentant of its wrongs. War criminals only kind of bring about what I think of when I think of the CIA and military, at the least. Let alone all the miscarriages of justice that sit around everyday while we chant "WE'RE FREE!".

I can hardly hold my nose anymore at the stink of injustice, while we sit around and wag our fingers at each other over sensitivities and word we're allowed to use. Our rights are being stolen left and right and honestly we can't even stop it now because nobody would listen. The truth has come out about surveillance and unamerican shit and people parade on like it isn't happening and doesn't exist.

Meanwhile John Oliver every week will make you pull your hair out. I feel like im in "the emperor wears no clothes", like guys the freedom isn't real, its an illusion and people go SHHHH LOOK AT THE AWESOME FREEDOM!

Happy Fourth guys, sorry for the rant.

silverleaf 07-04-2017 07:12 PM

While I was up north this weekend, every 15 minutes of Canada150 coverage on the tv included a segment about First Nations people and aboriginals, what had been done to them, and what they were owed for the atrocities that had been visited upon them. I can't even begin to imagine seeing that kind of shit on US news channels. To hyperbole's point, we have a hard enough time acknowledging the destitute and forgotten men and women of today, let alone the natives of this land of "ours".

I was talking to someone tonight while watching fireworks about the distinct difference between American patriotism and Canadian patriotism. Where Canadians seem proud of who they are, and Americans seem obsessed with being #1 (AKA "great") because they are Americans.

Maybe we'll get there someday. It will take some pretty significant changes first, it seems.

Captain Cannabis 07-05-2017 02:28 AM

everything that canada did to first nations/metis/inuit people is so beyond fucked that i have a hard time believing that anyone could call canada a civilized country.

slunt 07-05-2017 07:54 PM

You folks are The United States OF AMERICA. Every Canadian , Mexican , Brazilian , Columbian etc. lives in either North or South America and are also Americans....just sayin :cuss:

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