This year’s Fourth of July celebration of the nation’s independence finds us at a cross roads.
We are veering left.
We are veering right.
The middle is losing its power and its essence.
The middle class has been bludgeoned and besieged.
For many Americans, just getting from week’s pay check to the next is given as a measure of survival.
Many of us want to take sides. Many of us are disinterested in the politics. Many more are disgusted.
On this 247th Fourth of July there is the palpable feeling that we nearly all question some aspects of our leadership in Washington, DC. And we question the ability of our government to respond to our needs and to our desires.
Many of us feel there is no leadership, that there is no heroism, and that the loyalty our leaders show is more to their fortunes and their paychecks than to the American people.
On the other hand, celebrating almost 250 years of American democracy is an achievement.
Two-hundred and fifty years of anything existing in its positive form is something to behold.
What should we celebrate on this Fourth of July?
Being here, for one. Being Americans, for another. Being descended from a great people, a welcoming, tolerant, freedom loving people.
Whether you are left of center or right of center, the desire is for freedom. The fight is for freedom. The day to day battle is to keep this nation going and heading in the right direction.
There is a great deal of debate about what the right direction is. No one seems to know the way.
Everyone cannot be made happy.
The American Dream is alive. It remains about the best thing about this nation founded on the premise that everyone living here has inalienable rights and that all men are created equal.
Despite the nation’s founding as a slave keeper democracy, we have moved forward dramatically to correct the wrongs of the past.
Life is not perfect. But life is good for the vast majority of us.
All our institutions are being questioned – as well they should be questioned.
They are our institutions. They all deserve a good look from all of us.
On this Fourth of July as you drive around you see flags waving everywhere in the breeze. There will be fireworks, concerts, home barbecues, mass shootings and everything else that life has to throw at us.
The Fourth of July is a moment to savor for Americans.
Let’s face it, millions of people struggling to live their lives in freedom around the world want to come here. They want the promise of America.
On this 247th anniversary of independence, the promise of America is alive.
It is being tested, but it remains one of the most potent promises this world has to offer.
Let’s all pledge to do a better job of keeping America vital, safe, prosperous and free in the year to come.
Let’s all work for another year of American triumph over evil.
Happy Fourth of July!