Are the July 4 “fireworks” in Politics known as political partisanship reaching a new low, or is the Pledge of Allegiance something to be confronted, not supported?
So I began my July 4 with explosive diarrhea and ended with projectile vomiting, or is that just a metaphor for how politics seems to be dividing Americans further.
As might be expected, any political talk during July 4 family BBQs tended to drift toward the subject of the George Zimmerman trial. And although opinions can be sharply divided on George Zimmerman, even among gun owners, the tone was civil.
I suppose it’s only the internet and TV where people tend spew the most vile hatred. The local TV station playing in the background barely seemed to mention July 4. In fact, July 4 politics focused on a sterling defense of President Obama, claiming that he was doing a fine job on border security. One July 4 meme claimed that when Fascism comes to America, it will be cloaked in patriotism. On the other side you have President Obama being called a Socialist during July 4. Whatever happened to United We Stand, at least for a day?
Over on Twitter I noticed people arguing over whether the words “under God” belong in the Pledge of Allegiance. One July 4 meme going around said:
“MY GENERATION GREW UP RECITING THIS EVERY MORNING IN SCHOOL WITH MY HAND ON MY HEART. THEY NO LONGER DO THAT FOR FEAR OF OFFENDING SOMEONE. LET’S SEE HOW MANY AMERICANS WILL RE-POST.”
In response, progressive groups apparently felt led to spread July 4 articles on the Pledge of Allegiance that claim “the Pledge has been a slavish ritual of devotion to the state, wholly inappropriate for a free people.” This claim was made because the original Pledge author, Francis Bellamy, was a Christian Socialist who intended the Pledge of Allegiance as a salute to Nationalism. But it seems obvious that with the various changes over the years Americans have adopted the Pledge of Allegiance to fit their needs and not its original purpose.
A newer progressive July 4 meme on the Pledge of Allegiance focuses on the original usage of the “Bellamy Salute” during the Pledge Of Allegiance, which nowadays is known as the Hitler Salute used by Nazism. America switched over to the hands of our hearts during World War II, but the salute was originally modeled on Roman salutes. But progressives claim “the calls to ‘honor our history’ are actually an emotionally charged appeal to accept a particular political philosophy” and those “jingoistic views,” or extreme patriotism, make people “feel obliged to take part in the repeating of a loyalty oath to one particular nation-state.”
Conservatives, for their part, attacked President Obama on July 4, saying, “Obama speaks of freedom of “worship” rather than the “free exercise” of religion because at this very moment–on this 4th of July–he is attacking the free exercise of religion and denying it to Christians of multiple denominations who insist that his administration has no right to issue regulations forcing them into complicity with the taking of innocent human lives.”
And, even though it’s marked as political satire, another Obama July 4 meme has the President knocking the celebration of July 4 in a speech:
“America is a great country. There is no denying this. However, I caution you all as you step forward in your careers. Peer back into history and ask yourselves- Was a revolution truly necessary? … God instructs us to help our neighbors. He does not instruct us to look down upon them though the windows of capitalism. Why then on the Fourth of July should you celebrate such a radical break from what is Godly and just? No doubt there are many voices warning you of the harm of big government. They are wrong. Government can provide you with what family and friends cannot. If this is gone what will you have? … I believe we should celebrate where we are going. Celebrate moving forward. Not where we have been.”
One thing I’ve liked about former President George W. Bush is that he’s stayed away from knocking people down since exiting office, which might explain why he’s currently more popular than Obama. This is what he had to say about today’s July 4:
“This morning I returned home from a fantastic trip to Africa, where Laura and I saw the generosity and good heart of the American people at work. This July 4, we could not be prouder than to be citizens of the United States. Happy Independence Day, and may God bless America.”
Do you think July 4 politics are dividing Americans too much?