What is liberty if it is not shared by all? What is liberty if one group of Americans absolutely believe their ideological positions are superior to other's? Instead of embracing each other's contributions to America, we today seem to have fallen back into some tribal sense of what a true American is - and that is unfortunate because most holding that belief no longer grant anyone that disagrees with them any stature of also being an "American." Somehow many Americans have allowed the political parties and their supporting Media to cause them to view others as somehow "Anti-American" or "clueless" simply because their vision differs from the ones they themselves may hold dear. We all have bias (and admittedly, so do I). But just because Americans have differing views does not make them "un-American", despite the best efforts by many to divide us. So perhaps on this holiday designed to commemorate all that we share, let's drop the hatred and suspicion and instead embrace our differences and recognize, these very differences have served our great nation well since its inception.
Just this week, I had another on-line discussion with a former student that seems to think anyone who points out the flaws of his world view is "pompous" and "condescending." The reason for the most recent disconnect? A common meme found on social media claiming all mass murderers were Democrats while none were members of the NRA. When I pointed out that none of them established to be Democrats (hell, one of them was not even a citizen of the United States) what was his response? "Why is it wrong? Can you prove they were members of the NRA?" Huh? This is a text-book example of the programmed thinking many Americans have fallen into. If one part is proven wrong, it is still acceptable to pursue their line of reasoning because some other aspect may be true. Isn't this the classic definition of propaganda - surrounding lies wrapped between a couple of proven facts - rendering the reader convinced that the error is minor and therefore worthy of perpetuating? And somehow some think this to be an "American value?" Hardly!
So as we celebrate the anniversary of our declared independence as a new sovereign democratic-republic, please remember the words of Founding Father and Framer Alexander Hamilton; "There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism." As we celebrate the independence of our great nation, may Americans stand up and demand we recognize the agenda of "Factious men" and realize they are neither working for our true interests nor to be recognized as anything close to real patriots! Happy and safe Fourth of July to ALL Americans of every persuasion. Have a great week! *
* Looking forward to speaking before the Sarasota League of Women Voters July 8!