Fireworks started early for us this year, when a line of thunderstorms rolled through about 11:15 tonight lighting up the skies and thundering forcefully for a time ... some heavy rain, a little wind, but mostly dramatic, breathtaking flashes and resounding rumbles ... A great way to usher in this sadly timed holiday tucked into the middle of a work week.
But sadder still is to contemplate the reason we celebrate this day, given the sorry current state of what remains of our "more perfect union," this republic where the rule of law theoretically supersedes the rule of tyrannical men. Each year we seek to commemorate and reaffirm our commitment to this tenet we're taught in our earliest years in school, when the day meant being proud to wave the flag, ride our bikes in town parades, eat home made ice cream and sweet corn, while biding our time until dusk when the fireworks could begin to light up the skies and thrill us with thunderous explosions.
As with most of our fonder childhood memories, time and circumstances ultimately tend to erode the thrill to little more than a fleeting feeling we seek to recapture, yet always unsuccessfully ... even in the best of times. And these are far from the best of times for this nation, when we find ourselves mired in two foreign wars and a full-blown constitutional crisis on the homefront.
Our great nation began with the overthrow of a tyrant. So as it was then, so must it be now again. Years of apathetic complacency, (much as Jefferson warned against early on), have nurtured an electorate poorly suited to carry on the great experiment envisioned by our Founding Fathers. And our outright apathy and laziness have begotten the situation in which we currently find ourselves depressed, overworked, uninsured, beaten down, and hanging on to whatever threads get us through each day. (And I'm sure you can surely enumerate all those possibilities with little effort yourselves....)
This nation entered a profound crisis in December of 2000, and though we still find ourselves deep in the darkest of times in my personal memory, we must nourish the hope that it will end justly, legally and peacefully. The rule of law over that of men must once again prevail in this great nation of ours, this now imperfect "union," so that we can begin to heal the wounds, the indignities, the illegalities and the outright dishonesty and dissembling that has characterized the last seven years.
Our founding document, the Constitution to which all public officials swear allegiance, must once again be respected and revered. It provides the remedy needed to set this great nation back on its track. Impeach. Convict. Remove. Brand those three words upon the consciousness of the citizens so that the healing process may finally begin.
Keith Olbermann said it much more eloquently than I could ever hope to do, so give him a few minutes of your time to appreciate what needs to happen and where we need to go as a nation.
I hope all of you reading have a restful holiday (since we get so many fewer than most countries in the world), and make the best of it as you can. Ironic, huh, that the fireworks we love and use to celebrate this Independence Day come from one of our major creditors, eh?
Have a happy 4th, my friends. Burgers, Brats and hot dogs for all!
Someone told me that was the American way ... let's do our best to bring it back!