"Hey, Baby, It's the Fourth of July"

Like most holidays, I had a lot of time on my hands and very little to do. My son was working, and the family gathering wasn’t scheduled until later in the day. Sure, I could have done some work around the house. The garage needs cleaning; the CD room is an unorganized mess. Instead, I laid around the Hudsonland compound watching all of the awful Judge Judy ripoff shows and browsing my favorite websites.
Being the 4th of July, my thoughts inevitably turned to the concept of patriotism. This is a word that’s been hijacked in recent years. Patriotism has nothing to do with metallic decals, flag-embroidered clothing, and other nick-nacks that are trotted out so clems can feel superior to their neighbors.
Patriotism in my eyes is about living a good life. It’s about working hard, paying my share of taxes, and performing good deeds. (Yes, despite my public image I’m actually a pretty good guy.) Most importantly, it’s about living up to the ideals of our constitution.
In recent years, however, a certain group of people have hijacked the word patriotism. To these people, any act that goes against their standards is considered treason. Somehow they’ve concluded that they set the moral tone of our country…and anybody who disagrees with their beliefs “hates America”.
While these sorts of people have always been around, they really came to power after the horrific events of 9/11. Within days, our Constitution was under attack with the secretly-written yet horrifically-titled “Patriot Act”. Without giving Congress any time to even read the bill (it was written just hours before being introduced), our elected officials undercut a good portion of the Bill of Rights.
Since then, this administration has continued to assault our individual rights. Our phones may be tapped, our internet usage may be monitored, and our bank records are subject to the eyes of the government. At the same time, any complaint about not only these practices but any criticism of the government is attacked by the likes of Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, and Michelle Malkin. Dissent has all but been stricken from the Constitution, aided by a mainstream media that is so worried about appearing liberal that they have allowed the extreme right to take over.
As a person who has refused to join either party, and has helped elect members on both sides of the fence, I am completely disgusted with almost all of our politicians. Instead of working to improve our great country, the majority of their time is spent on meaningless bills that are set in motion only to fuel their midterm election campaigns.
Gay marriage? Who cares? How does it affect me if one person with a penis falls so in love with another penis that they want to spend their life with them?
The Iraq referendum? This was no serious vote to set the future of our troops in Iraq. This was a vote to create the “stay the course” vesus “cut and run” commercials.
The lowest moment came a couple of weeks ago when the Flag Amendment was once again introduced. Before you call me a Commie, however, I must say that like the majority of Americans, I would never burn a flag. Yet, there’s no reason for a law against it. Do you know how often it happens? In the past ten years, there are less than a dozen documented instances. Outside of political posturing, there’s no need to waste millions of dollars to change the Constitution to ban such a rare act.
I know this will never occur, or at least won’t for quite some time, but we need some real change in our country’s government. It’s time that we demand that our elected officials think about our country first and their political party second. It’s time for our government to actually work on solving the country’s problems instead of grandstanding for their press releases and cable news channel appearances. Hopefully, every one of them spent a little bit of time on this national holiday actually reading the Constitution.


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