They hate us for our freedoms. “They” being anyone who isn’t white, male, and wealthy. Looking back through the lens of time, “white, male and wealthy” described our founding fathers. They were ticked because the monopolies granted by the British Crown hurt their businesses and their opportunities to be even wealthier. Unable to get King George to back off and let the colonies have a bigger share of the economic pie, they convinced the working class that it was time to go to war. They did, and they won. With the help of the French, and we have never forgiven the French for that.
Initially, it was thought that only white males who owned property should be allowed to vote, as they had a greater stake in the new country than those not “propertied.” But these white, male businessmen were also students of the Enlightenment, and felt that the masses could be trusted to vote, provided they were educated. But…just in case the masses got it wrong, there’s the Electoral College.
The power to indoctrinate through public education was considered so dangerous that education would be left to the States, instead of the federal government. Interestingly, in the early days it was those white, wealthy males, who wanted an educated populace. The average farmer saw little use for education – for their children to be exposed to thoughts and ideas beyond the comprehension of their parents – and, while the kids were at school, they weren’t around to help on the farm. Our summer vacations are a hold-over from those agrarian times.
Now where are we? Our freedoms are under attack now from within. White, wealthy men are re-asserting their dominance. Womens’ rights, including the right to their own uterus, are under attack. Public education is under attack. Taking care of our senior citizens and the poorest amongst us is under attack. Why? A new brand of selfishness, cloaked in Jesus Christ and the American Flag has arisen.
This great experiment of a democratic republic, born those many years ago, is rotting from voter apathy and ruling class greed and manipulation.
We’ve long been a country of checks and balances. Most recently, this gave us the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, and Citizens United and ObamaCare. In other words, in spite of all the rhetoric, in spite of all the attempts to disenfranchise all who do not vote the way white, wealthy males would have them vote, in spite of all the scandals and abuses of power, we still move, slowly, painfully, but progressively, towards social equity.
It is this movement to social equity that has withstood the test of time – as if it is some inherent part of our DNA – a check and a balance to greed and selfishness. Yes, the heirarchical structure is still here, and has, and will be, a part of the human condition. Yes, we still have to fight the same battles to achieve equality. In the 60’s, it was the right for people of different color to get married. Now, its the right for people of the same gender to get married. We move forward. And this forward movement cannot be stopped. Not in the long run.
That, then, is the true meaning of Independence Day.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY OPEN THREAD