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Happy Independence Day, from a curmudgeon

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The 4th of July is always a great day to reflect, rejoice and reconsider anew the United States of America. It is the day we commemorate the founding of our great nation. A great, wonderful and crazy place that is home.

Our nation is many things, the world’s longest enduring republic, the most diverse country on the earth, the most prosperous, the most free and perhaps even more fatalistic than Denmark.

We have much to be proud of and very little to be ashamed of. We are a good and generous people who still by in large live by the golden rule.

Of course I am thinking of the one that says, “do unto others…” and not “he who has the gold rules,” but both are true.

The people who settled this country came here for two basic reasons, freedom of religion and economic opportunity. In other words people wanted to be free to worship as they wanted and to make as much money as they could. Not always two harmonious ideas but we have mostly worked that out.

We are at times seen as an over-religious people and sometimes we are perceived as overly-greedy, again both are true.

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We can be people who are extremist, but reality generally tempers our collective excesses.

We have a good-—but not perfect—-form of government that we brag about or complain about too often and too much.

We usually suffer from a universal amnesia once we have seen the error of our ways, we forget it ever happened and that it is natural and also healthy.

We seem to only find a balance in public life by going from extremes, until we pass the middle so many times, that we realize that it is a good place to rest.

We believe our myths and hoist them high as if they are true and undeniable.

We are the greatest nation on earth and I believe that but we have never been as good as we remember or as bad as others have portrayed us.

Every generation at least since I have been alive has believed this was the end of times, we are narcissistic that way.

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We generally think that this is the worst president, worst congress, worst economy ever, we over exaggerate like that.

Most of our beloved patriotic songs are about the land not the people, except that awful song by Lee Greenwood, which is worse than water boarding and should be outlawed.

Our national anthem is about a big battle, sung to the tune of an old English drinking song and no one on earth can sing it properly. I like that a lot.

We are a peculiar people, who are in fact not a people in the sense that Swedes or Germans have for the most part a common bloodline.

When people ask me about my heritage I sometimes answer, “mutt.” I am an American which for the most part means I am part junkyard dog, part pit bull and part lap dog, in a word a mutt. Worth having around as a good companion but I will bite you if provoked. I will work hard, protect you if you are in trouble and sometimes I just don’t want to be bothered.

I like that too.

I love my country and sometimes I think it may even love me, but that is not its responsibility. Would I die for my country, if necessary, yes.  But to quote old George Patton, I would rather make some poor bastard die for his.

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God bless America and God bless you my fellow American







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Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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