There is something about the 4th of July which is so quintessentially American that it makes us happy and leads us to think of really wholesome things like parades, and picnics and the smiling faces of our children behind a now forbidden sparkler. We want hot dogs and mayo-loaded salads and watermelons and roasted marshmallows. We expect to be sun drenched and hot and maybe to be somewhere near water. We want to end the day with explosions.
We are still an independent nation after 236 years and we are plotting a course for a future where we will retain our independence, which may be in more jeopardy today than it has been in quite a while. Will globalization eventually make nations obsolete? Will we fall back from our prime spot among the roster of nations until we fall under the hegemony of some other nation? We don’t really believe these things will happen and we hope they never do. The planet needs a strong and free America. But the slight sense of shifting possibilities makes us savor our 236 years of independence even more and makes us certain that simple American pleasures are the best expression of a day that still brings joy to our hearts.
If you would like to enjoy a bit of July 4th comedy, today’s conversation in the NYT’s between Gail Collins and David Brooks, one Democrat, one Republican will entertain you.