Happy Fourth of July to everyone on our blog and other blogs. The Turleys will hold our annual Fourth of July celebration with fireworks tonight with a cookout, pies, and of course fireworks. I love this holiday.
Obviously, this is a difficult year for those who value civil liberties in this country. We are celebrating our freedom in the midst of a scandal involving unprecedented warrantless surveillance and the rise of an imperial presidency. In addition, we have a Congress that appears to tolerate perjury from high-ranking officials and a government intent on changing our model of privacy into a new surveillance-friendly image. It has challenged our notion that this remains the “land of the free.” It is easy to simply retreat into one’s home and not celebrate this year. However, these politicians are not what we are celebrating nor are we celebrating the cult of personality that has replaced our principles. Indeed, they are the antithesis of what this holiday should be about: freedom.
I intend to celebrate this holiday with added vigor this year. The erosion of our civil liberties only makes me more appreciative of our Framers and more committed to regaining what they left us . . . and what we have lost. I remain an optimist about this country and a great believer in its principles. Our politicians, including our President, have betrayed those principles and triggered a torrent of criticism around the world. We are now viewed by many as a violator of the rule of law rather than its protector. Worse yet, we have a political system that appears entirely untethered to the American people and voters who are increasingly convinced that they have no voice in a system controlled by a monopoly of two parties. We seem to be living in an American Animal Farm of different rights for the governed and the governing elite.
Yet, this is a holiday that reminds us that we are better than the people who govern us and this country stands for something beyond the creature comforts of an affluent society. We are defined by our liberties and that is what I will celebrate today. We still represent something in this world and the world needs what we have promised even if we are not currently delivering on it. We represent the promise of free speech and free exercise and self-determination. We represent the value of privacy and self-autonomy. We represent one of the most pluralistic nations on Earth that has succeeded in coexisting and flourishing despite our religious, cultural, and political differences. That all means something even if our leaders treat them like cheap soundbites.
So there for a great Independence Day to everyone on the blog. I will hoist a burger and a beer in your honor today.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!