July 4, 2005

Two hundred and twenty-nine years since the Declaration

...that announced the nation of my birth. On this day, in this place, where I spend so much time and energy in frustration and anger, I want to spend one day addressing every American who reads this.

Welcome, sir or madam.

We are countrymen. What that means, and what it is worth, I cannot say. What our country means today in the world, I also cannot say. All I can say to you is what it means to me. Those of you who are not American, and who (in the words of a poster at The Agonist "watch, bemused" - we apologize for the interruption in the regular programming of internecine Snark, and beg your indulgence. Regular uncivil discourse amongst the colonists will resume shortly.

Fellow Americans:

Our country is becoming increasingly polarized. Bile and rancor sear both sides of the debate. Frustration runs rampant. All I can try to do from my position is assure you of one thing. I, personally, do not blog my choleric, frustrated rants because I 'hate America.' I don't hate my countrymen serving in our armed forces. Nor, I assure you, do any of my friends who rant as well. On the contrary, we are frustrated because our love for this country has run afoul of what we see as a profound misstep in the path - and we feel powerless to correct it, or even influence the way our country walks, when the only responses we see from those currently in power are blithe assurances that either nothing is wrong, or (worse) that we ourselves must be sympathizers with those who 'hate us.'

Enough.

Today is our birthday.

Today is a time for fireworks, and grilling, and family. Today I would that I could share a drink with any and all who are or would be Americans, or would simply learn more of America as an American sees it. I would tell you all I could, and I would endeavour to listen with all my might. That is all, really, that I think we can do for each other right now - not just listen, but hear; not just talk, but speak.

Raise a drink with me, please - no matter where you are - to the Constitution of the United States of America. Raise a drink with me to those who would defend that Constitution and the Republic which its ideals have brought forth here on Earth - an idea which binds men. Not a fear which binds men, nor a power which forces them, but an idea which makes them kin - raise a drink with me, brother and sister.

Happy Fourth of July. Many happy returns.

Posted by jbz at July 4, 2005 11:45 PM | TrackBack

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