Stars and Stripes for Never

by Jay McAdams


On this 4th of July I find myself feeling…well, less than optimistic about how this great experiment of America has turned out. Yes, this is a holiday when we’re supposed to ignore the negatives and pull the country to our bosom and feel truly patriotic. Yeah, but it’s hard when the country is under authoritarian rule and 1/3 of our countrymen don’t or won’t recognize it. However, in the spirit of Independence Day I choose to focus on the positive things about the good ole U.S.of A.

We know that we’re still free because thousands of Americans are being allowed to blow their fingers off this week. That’s liberty. The right to celebrate our freedom in an emergency room because the government won’t stop you from buying fireworks. You think they’re allowed to just blow things up whenever they want in Afghanistan? Well, maybe in Afghanistan. But still we love our fireworks. Over 9,000 brilliant Americans will blow themselves up this week with serious injuries, and over 400 people will lose one or both eyes from fireworks. 20,000 geniuses will start fires with their explosives this week. Okay, wait, there I go again with the downer stuff. Just love America, Jay. Pull that eagle close to your breast (ouch).

Guns. That’s the other thing we can agree on this Independence Day, right? We need more guns. And no restrictions. Just enforce the laws on the books, right? Wait. No, wait, we can’t agree on guns either. Not even common sense things like background checks or assault weapons ban. But it’s fine. Mass shootings happen every day now. Another one this weekend in Arkansas I think. Can’t keep track because there are so many. But we’re fine. We love our guns, America. Freedom. Woohoo!

Okay, okay, here’s something to be proud of. Americans mostly want the same things; equality for all people, peace on earth, affordable healthcare. Well no, actually. On this 4th of July, what’s even worse than the fireworks injury statistics are the numbers of people who don’t understand what’s going on. It appears that we absolutely do not all want affordable health care and rational gun laws. We can’t even agree whether Russia is friend or foe. And I’m not talking only about Agent Orange himself, of course he’s too crazy and too stupid to understand why Putin is NOT a better leader than Obama, but every Republican who is assisting him in this… OMG. History will judge these people far worse than Nixon. Wait, wait, there I go again, I used the word Republican in my 4th of July patriotism piece. Shit. I’m above that. It’s Independence Day for God’s sake. Love it, Jay. Breathe in the red, white, and blue and be proud.

Okay, here’s something. We have a constitution. Yes, unlike many undeveloped countries we have a strong constitution and that protects us from being taken over by a narcissistic zealot with authoritarian tendencies who wants to lock journalists up for criticizing him. Wait, what? Well, it may not be working perfectly, but thus far it is still working. He’s only talking about locking journalists up thus far. Maybe it’s our constitution that we should all be so proud of this Independence Day. It has never been tested quite like this, but thus far, it has not let us down, at least with the big stuff. We have a pig trying to drive us apart this 4th of July. He’s been put in the White House. And his party is aiding and abetting. So it’s not just your run of the mill 4th of July picnic. It’s crazy out there. Crazier than any other 4th, except maybe the first one. Still, maybe that system built by our founders will hold up, even under this most brutal attack. Even under the darkness of deliberate lies and rampant stupidity. Maybe our democracy will be lasting. Maybe civility is not dead. Maybe there will be something left. After the smoke clears.


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