Sunday, July 04, 2021

Independence Day

      The Republic, it should be noted, still stands; stands despite disease, inequality, civil unrest and the overheated pronouncements of demagogues.

      Indeed, we the people of the United States remain much as we began: a great, unruly and largely ungovernable collection of individuals, with divergent ideas about how things ought to be, under State and Federal governments that, ultimately, can do little more than nudge us.  And since the people who comprise those governments are selected by and drawn from us, we can nudge right back.

      In our worst moments, we and our government do more than nudging. As a nation and as a people, we have made grave and terrible mistakes.  But our loose and sloppy system has built-in error correction.  It's not fast, it's not especially granular and its workings can be, at times, horrifically unjust.  Our critics, internal and external, say it is an awful system -- but every other system that humanity has tried so far has shown itself to be much worse.

      Sometimes the best compliments come from enemies.  U. S. history was a subject of great and abiding interest to scholars in the former Soviet Union, since no other country has ever made so much progress, so rapidly, after violent revolution and civil war as the did United States of America.

      Our Independence Day is remarked upon far outside our own borders.

      No matter if you're going to a fireworks show, setting off your own, or quietly observing the day mindful of the upset the racket creates for people with PSTD and for pets, you live in a special place.  You are a part of it, not an outside observer, and your vote counts just as much as anyone's else; your letter to your Congressperson matters, and the actions you take are a part of the vast, contradictory tapestry that is the United States of America.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"...the vast, contradictory tapestry that is the United States of America." - that was excellent. Truly summarizes our essence, our greatest challenge, our greatest strength. Thanks.