I trust you all enjoyed a pleasant Independence Day, though with each year the question “just what we are celebrating?” insistently recurs in my mind.
For a lot of Americans it seems as though we are celebrating just out of habit, or just for the sake of celebrating — with the customary fireworks, barbecues, parades — but for some of us the day has assumed overtones of mourning — mourning what has become of our country, mourning for what should have been but now is not.
If we choose, we can look back at the genuine accomplishments and heroism of our forefathers in creating this country, though it seems fewer Americans each year are inclined to do that. Cynicism on the part of many on the right is the order of the day, and I seem to see as much bitterness towards our forebears from the ‘right’ as from the left. No matter which way you cut it, that is sad. No matter how wrong America has gone in this ‘grand experiment’ that we call our country, is there really any comfort in denouncing the Founders of this country? Does it serve any useful purpose? I say it doesn’t; if we are truly ethnonationalists or ethnopatriots there has to be something in our history and our folk that we can love and defend. Of course we have to separate our nation (and our folk; they are one) from our government, which does not represent us, nor does it seem to care about our safety and happiness.
But must we trash the past and the people who made our country? I can’t take part in that, though I am decidedly not one of those people the right (and left) disparage as ‘patriotards.’
Even the use of names like ‘patriotard’ is an example of jaded cynicism, something I dislike, especially if I find it growing in my own heart.
Pat Buchanan, in a very good article, asks the question of whether we are still a nation. In my opinion it’s one of the best things he’s written lately, though I often felt he did not ‘go far enough’ in the past in addressing some issues.
I think most of us would agree that the country, as we know it today, does not embody a true nation, a people descended from a common ancestry and with shared history and culture. But there is still a core, a remnant, that exists. Those who are part of this know it, and it is to this that we should and must be loyal. Cynicism and bitterness are not motivating influences; instead they seem to lead to apathy and resignation, and to a perverse kind of superiority feeling based on being above the simple-minded ‘normies’ or ‘Murkans.’ Nothing positive can be built on this.
I don’t know what the future of this ‘Republic’ of ours holds; I am sorry to say I am not as optimistic as I once was (though my optimism was always cautious and tempered by realism). I don’t know that we have any cause to celebrate on Independence Day except to remember our forebears and their great efforts and sacrifices for our benefit, and the fact that their posterity failed to ‘keep’ the Republic they created for us is to our discredit, not theirs.