Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Red, White And Blues

Marching down the streets of Flagstaff during this year's Independence Day Parade, I noticed something both germane and saddening: pockets of patriotism. Our leader, General Washington, would raise his sword to elicit a cheer for the U.S.A. Many responded; many didn't. They sat unmoved, unstirred by His Excellency, the Continental Soldier (your humble servant), and his friends from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Perhaps 9am is still too early for people to be in the spirit, or maybe they're the quiet type, but I have to wonder.

This nation is dealing with two wars, gunk in the Gulf, a huge deficit, a stalled economy and immigration issues, just for starters. It's hard to get people feeling good about the good 'ol U.S.A. As the famous patriot Thomas Paine once wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls."

Unroll the Declaration of Independence and you'll find plenty of blessings to count by way of all the things your colonial ancestors had to endure, among them:
  • "Standing Armies" that nobody called for or wants

  • Quartering of soldiers in people's homes. Think your kids are the terror of your domicile? Try living with a redcoat.

  • Trade embargoes with anybody but England

  • Taxes. Taxes. More taxes -- without representation

  • Plundering, ravaging, burning and destruction of towns, all with the king's consent

  • "swarms of Officers" sent "to harass our people"

  • Judges dependent on the will of the king

  • Repeated messing with colonial legislatures, including dissolving them at will. Not what I would call "limited government."
Tyranny tends to be redefined at will. I wonder how many people waving Gadsden flags nowadays do their homework and realize how good they have it, even as they peacefully protest for a redress of grievances.

Maybe this time next year, we won't be in such a crummy national mood. Go ahead and insert your political messages here for November. Just remember, you get what you elect -- although you can't forget you are blessed to do the electing.

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