I don’t understand it. My patriotic ardor has been cooling for decades, but this year, it’s in the deep freeze. For inspiration, I turn to the American Enterprise Institute (it’s got “American” in the name, so it must be good). Unfortunately, this doesn’t help.
— AEI (@AEI) July 1, 2017
It links to an essay praising Calvin Coolidge and the divinity of our nation’s founding, and it’s about as dishonest as you’d expect from an anti-science far right wing capitalist propaganda organization.
History is replete with the births (and deaths) of nations. But the birth of the United States was unique because it was, and remains, a nation founded not on ties of blood,
Except the blood of the exterminated native peoples of the continent.
Have we all forgotten manifest destiny and westward expansion? Vast tracts of land bought from the French and Mexico? Wars to define borders?
As long as your ethnicity is white, and even within ‘whiteness’ we have gradations. Anglo-saxons are privileged over Irish and Italians.
but on ideas, held as self-evident truths: that all men are created equal;
Except the dark-skinned ones, who are less equal and justifiably enslaved. Oh, right: slaves weren’t men, they were property.
they are endowed with certain inalienable rights;
At the time of the revolution, women weren’t even considered entitled to vote, and it was seriously contemplated to restrict those rights to white men of property.
and, therefore, the just powers of government, devised to safeguard those rights, must be derived from the consent of the governed.
Lovely sentiment to express now as the police hold a gun to the heads of all citizens, but especially the brown ones. Does consent flow from the muzzle of a gun?
It gets worse. America is a Christian nation.
What is the source of these ideas, and their singular combination in the Declaration? Many have credited European thinkers, both British and French. Coolidge, citing 17th- and 18th-century sermons and writings of colonial clergy, provides ample evidence that the principles of the Declaration, and especially equality, are of American cultural and religious provenance: “They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image, all partakers of the divine spirit.” From this teaching flowed the emerging American rejection of monarchy and our bold embrace of democratic self-government.
The fatherhood of god is why, in the antebellum US, Christian ministers could argue for slavery, and how the founding of the country could be built on the bedrock of denying the humanity of those who labored for the Southern aristocracy.
The parties in this conflict are not merely Abolitionists and Slaveholders; they are Atheists, Socialists, Communists, Red Republicans, Jacobins on the one side, and the friends of order and regulated freedom on the other. In one word, the world is the battle ground, Christianity and Atheism the combatants, and the progress of humanity the stake.
Put me on the side of the Atheists, Socialists, Communists, Red Republicans, and Jacobins, and fuck the AEI and everything they stand for.
My patriotism might be partially restored if we could acknowledge our history of wrongs and work towards addressing them, but that is not this America. This country has also taken a big step backwards with its embrace of plutocrats, fascists, racists, and misogynists, or, as we call them for short, Republicans.
No celebrations for me today.