Another Fourth of July is about to come to a close,
with the absence of meaningful, helpful political
action in Washington DC, the Illinois statehouse
and elsewhere. There isn't enough money in my
suburb or Chicago to host former years' July 3rd
beautiful and awe-inspiring fireworks, but the
rhetorical firestorms haven't fallen silent, stridency
ruling over good sense, alas.
237 years ago the Founders stated their intent to
break with the mother country and forge a new
nation. I put the plural to "founder", as Thomas
Jefferson, who certainly could coin a phrase, was
part of a document draft committee which included
Franklin and Adams; they found it necessary to
redact a good bit of controversial rambling Jefferson
indulged in after a stirring beginning. The inconvenient
truth about those self-evident "truths" Jefferson listed
is that they are abrogated daily and have been since he
wrote those words.
For me the fourth of July isn't as significant as
the birth of our republic, celebrated on September
17th every year, the day in 1787 when the framers
signed the Constitution. It's an unhappy fact that the
highest law of the land is also routinely broken, even
by second president John Adams back in 1801.
Meanwhile, the parties and political parrying
(wrangling) still go on across America, in lieu
of patriotic problem-solving, you know, justice,
respect and dignity for all.
Well, we haven't been taken over in 237 years;
that, at least, is worthy of a lifted glass or two.