Independence Day.

"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."

- The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, July 4th, 1776



I am not particularly patriotic. I don't think it's necessary to be overly proud of the country you live in; it would be better to simply know that your home is, though flawed, doing its best to provide for its citizens and the future it hopes to build.


Unfortunately, I've found it more and more difficult to conjure up any sense of pride in my country this year. Good friends have to fear dying in their beds because cruel people take advantage of broken systems to exercise their disgusting and dangerous prejudices. A virus rips through communities like wildfire and precious little is being done to combat it at even a local level, let alone a federal one. Every day, there are more headlines reading scandal, scandal, scandal. There is more screaming across the political divide, widening it from a difference of opinion to a void of moral disparity that is in danger of becoming impassible.


"We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here...They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity."

-The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, July 4th, 1776


I'm not saying that my country is evil. I'm not saying there is no hope for it. I'm saying that there are things terribly wrong, problems running so deep that to change them is to destabilize everything we know and love. We are running on eggshells that are beginning to splinter. We have to let them break.


My country, the country I grew up learning about in history classes, is not the country I live in right now. My country was supposed to be built on the idea that no man should live oppressed by a government so out of touch with their needs that they cannot understand why the people revolt. That all men (which here I use in terms of mankind, though of course the original was more specific in an unenlightened age of prejudices long since outdated) are created equal, and therefore should have equal powers and protections. That you can start with nothing and gain everything if you only work for it. These are lofty goals. They're ideals. Right now, they look utterly unrealistic. I continue to dream that they are not unachievable.


"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

-The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, July 4th, 1776


I refuse to let go of the unrelentingly optimistic opinion that we are capable of working toward a nation that really does represent these things. That we are capable of recognizing where we went wrong and fixing it, that we are capable of admitting our mistakes and correcting them even when it hurts, and that we are capable of realizing the fabled American Dream despite the corruption it has faced. The world is changing, and I more than welcome it.

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