Another Independence Day gone by, and with it a lot of hand-wringing or lamenting from the right — because many think there’s no reason to celebrate our independence. Why celebrate our non-existent (as many see it) independence or even our existence as a nation, since July 4, 1776?
Along with the usual Fourth picnic and cookout fare, it seems a lot of rightists dined yesterday on sour grapes; our country, according to them, was a fraud or a misbegotten notion from the get-go. Our Founders, so they say, were all atheists/freemasons, frauds who had no intention of giving their progeny a free republic. And so on.
Since we can never know the inmost thoughts of our Founding Fathers or our own ancestors, why choose to view them in the most negative and cynical light? We can be generous and give the benefit of the doubt to those people, many of whom left a body of writings that seems to show them as honest, God-fearing men, and men of principles and integrity, traits which are much rarer in our era.
The ideas of our founding forebears were sound. The problem is with human nature. If anything, that was the Founding Fathers’ weakness: excessive idealism. But they did tell us that the government they gave us was meant only for ‘a moral and religious people‘ — in other words, it is not suited to 21st-century homo sapiens, not even Americans, with our vaunted love of liberty.
And if human nature is the ultimate cause of our current situation, the ‘fundamental transformation’ of our country, then there’s little sense or usefulness in carping about the mistakes of our distant ancestors — or our closer ancestors, our grandparents and parents. They did the best they could, and our country had a good run until the slow-motion corruption that was working beneath the surface became obvious, and by then it was almost too late.
And is patriotism on our national birthday something to shun, because of the distress our country is now experiencing? And what is patriotism, really? As an ethnopatriot I say that the people are the nation; our loyalty should be shown towards our folk, our kinsmen. That’s what patriotism originally meant, not loyalty to a set of propositions or ideals. Not loyalty or sentiment towards the Emma Lazarus ersatz patriotism, getting misty-eyed over mass immigration, and the huddled masses.
Just as normal people love their families, warts and all, we have to learn to accept and bond with one another, to show solidarity and loyalty to our own. We can still have a country even though it is no longer the country we once knew. Tomorrow is another day. The future may look bleak but without the motivation of a bond shared with our kinsmen, it’s easy to become utterly resigned and pessimistic. Nothing good ever comes of that mindset, and I have to remind myself of that; it happens to most of us at times.
But surmounting the tendency to blame our own, and the divisiveness that plagues even the right is a real challenge; it does seem that blaming others amongst our own is a popular thing, and it seems to fill a need for some people.
It isn’t easy but we must get over the divisiveness and pledge our allegiance not to the ‘changeling’ country we see, but to the America that is us.