I hate to be a wet blanket here, I really, truly do. But for a good few years now I’ve felt that our national day of celebration each July 4th ought to be something along the lines of a wake. Thankfully, I am not alone in that.
Patriotism, properly understood, is a loyalty to the citizens who came before you. The emotional draw is gratitude for what they bequeathed. That implies a duty to preserve it for the next generation. If citizenship is just a meaningless transaction, then those citizens who came before us are no more important than the next guy who wanders over the border. Put another way, according to our rulers, our ancestors are strangers and so are our decedents. What possible reason would anyone have to be loyal to strangers?
It’s actually worse than that. The reason America is descending into a transactional land of strangers is that our ancestors decided to piss it all away. Why should anyone feel loyalty to the people who pushed through the 1986 immigration act? Why should we want to preserve what they passed onto us? If anything, we should take this day to dig up their bones and smash them to bits on the capital mall. That sounds harsh, but is there anything more monstrous than denying your decedents a chance to live the life you lived?
There’s another side to patriotism. That’s the loyalty to the institutions. In a liberal democracy, the citizen respects the office, even if he does not respect the man holding the office. Look around at our institutions. They are just as corrupt as the men who are in charge of them. No rational person can look at what is happening with the FBI and not think the entire political class needs to meet Madame Guillotine. After the last chop, send in the bulldozers to flatten the place. Maybe salt the earth afterwards.
For most of my life, I was an easy mark, when it came to flag waving. I believed the stuff they taught us in school and preached to us in the media. Despite her flaws, I thought the ideal of America was worth defending. The trouble is, the people in charge had other ideas. Like a lot of people over the last dozen or so years, I’ve had a change of heart about a lot of things. One of them is patriotism. You can be loyal to people, but you cannot be loyal to ideas or institutions. That’s a sucker’s play and I’m not a sucker anymore.
ZMan is referring to patriotism generally, but my problem is more with the 4th specifically, and especially the reverentially sentimental drivel we get from teewee “journalists” both local and national about how “free” we are, how lucky we are to live in a country enjoying all this “freedom,” how our forefathers sacrificed their very all to establish the “freedom” we sometimes take for granted, and etc.
Naturally, these are all people—especially the local-yokels—who, if given a choice between lecturing us on “freedom” or “safety,” are going to pick “safety” six days a week, and twice on Sunday. And not one of them, local or national, would know real freedom if they saw it, and would lapse into abject, shivering terror if they ever did. As Jack Nicholson said in Easy Rider: “Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ’em.”
Earlier today I was driving all over the place running errands, in the course of which I ran along Interstate 85 for a bit. In a twelve mile stretch, I saw no less than four State Troopers with folks pulled over, no doubt reminding them to celebrate their “freedom” later on. Here in NC, you’re free to celebrate “freedom” with fireworks exclusively on July 4th, and then only with the mildest of firecrackers, sparklers, and such-like. The rest of the year they’re banned and therefore unavailable, hence the tents and kiosks that sprout up like weeds in Wal Mart parking lots and other such places a few days before the Fourth. Tomorrow, they’ll all be tucked away until next year again.
Now, I know these all seem like trifling things, hardly worth bitching about. But add ’em all up—and throw in the other little things like seat belt laws, helmet laws, shower-head and toilet mandates, washing machines that no longer clean clothes because they aren’t allowed enough water to do the job, the ethanol currently ruining your car’s or lawn mower’s engine, and a bazillion other little things—and you end up with a pretty good-sized pile. Somewhere along the line, that ever-growing pile is the very thing that turns freedom into “freedom.”
None of which even touches on more significant encroachments like “hate speech” laws; over-regulation that very nearly strangled our economy beyond hope of resuscitation; all sorts of restrictions based on the climate-change hoax; the perversion of the language itself to comply with the lunatic demands of political correctness; licensing requirements, registration, taxes, inspections, and fees for businesses of every imaginable sort—these and a host of other intrusions add up to a very large pile indeed, and are stark reminders of just how far we’ve strayed from anything the Founders would recognize as real freedom.
To be sure, Trump has indeed made meaningful progress towards undoing the damage done to true freedom by the uncontested advance of Progressivism. But the job is too damned big for one man; one can only stand in awe at his audacity in being willing to take it on at all. Watching the slow, steady tide of “freedom” inundate America is enough to reduce one to despair; certainly, it’s made July 4th one hell of a lot more akin to a day of mourning than celebration for me these last few years. But then I run across a story like this:
A woman was escorted down from the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday after she scaled the bottom part of the national monument in protest of U.S. immigration policy, sparking a nearly four-hour standoff with authorities.
The person, who appeared to be sitting near the feet of Lady Liberty — roughly 25 feet above the monument’s observation point, was apprehended by police Wednesday, hours after she ascended the monument on Independence Day.
The park was shut down hours before closing time and was evacuated as a precaution, a National Park Service official told Fox News.
The woman had participated in an earlier protest Wednesday with New York-based activist group Rise and Resist, which organized the demonstration, which resulted in at least six arrests.
The group hung a banner emblazoned with a message about abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
Think of all the people who had their Ellis Island vacation trip ruined by this putz. Think of all the people watching the idiot’s stunt on the evening news shaking their heads in disgust. Think of the millions of Americans who are fed up with witless, disruptive “protests” like this one, and the millions more who know that a nation without borders is no nation at all, who have no wish to throw open the floodgates to grant entry to every unvetted malefactor on the planet.
Then think of the tiny, tiny handful of more-intelligent Democrat Socialist leaders who are now all a-tremble over how many votes this will cost them, many of them permanently.
The Left had almost a century in which to undo America That Was, and they came all too close to pulling it off. But now their day is nearly done. Reversing the effects of their malignance will be the work of generations; it will almost certainly require violence, and the end result of this monumental effort will without doubt be unlike anything we might anticipate. But it CAN be done, it is BEING done—and the work will continue, until the noxious weed of Leftist corruption is at last pulled out by its roots, flung onto the brush pile, and burned to ashes.
Happy Fourth, everybody.