Thursday, July 3, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing: By Jack Melichar

Ah! It's that time of year again. Time to celebrate the Declaration of Independence. But which date do we choose? It could be celebrated on the 2nd when Congress declared it, or the 4th when it was adopted, or July 8 when it was read in public for the first time, or August 8th when it was signed. Take your pick – or better yet, celebrate all four. Any excuse for a party, Eh! But I wander.

"When in the course of human events . . . " These words rang out over the city of Philadelphia on July 8, and a new concept of government was declared. Never mind that the Netherlands had been a republic from 1581-1775 before the Frogs mulled their way in. Facts are such a pain in the ass! They tend to distort all our prejudices and muck everything up (especially if you are a Republican, but then, they are easy to fool. Bush did it twice, and he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.). "But we wanted to be first," sob, sob!

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness . . . ”

It seems to me this section needs some explaining. You see, this did not apply to all men – you had to be white and own land. Blacks need not apply. Somehow these ideals did not quite fit with whips and chains and such. After all, it's hard to pursue happiness when you are all trussed up and being whipped – "You'll have to sweat on, bro. Sweat on.” And, of course, it did not apply to women (well, they didn't do everything wrong, joke, joke!)

This brings me finally to the concept of patriotism which is yammered about on this holiday.

Are only those who live by the axiom "my country right or wrong" the sole owners of the title "patriot?” Our conservative brethren would have us so believe. They look back at our history and see nothing but glory and good works. I look back – see some glory and good works – and also see genocide and racism and intolerance, and they do not make me proud to be an American. However, I look ahead and see the wonders we could bring about if we put our minds and backs to the tasks at hand, and I am very proud indeed. I consider myself a patriot – one who served in the military during Viet Nam – and also became a Veteran against the war. I reserve the right to call this nation wrong when I so believe. That right is what I and millions of other Americans have fought for, and if some don't like it, stuff it!

Have a great holiday – even you black Republicans.

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