Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fourth of July: Petition Bigly

Each Fourth of July I post about how strange it is to be an American outside of the US.  Last summer was the first time I was both Canadian and American for the Fourth of July.  Since then, I have occasionally gotten some pushback on twitter for commenting on American politics by those who are Trump cultists (and some Bernie bros as well, who might have also been Russian bots).  So, I am tempted to write about how un-American this current administration is, best exemplified by the news that the US is too weak and vulnerable to allow kids doing science projects to go to events in the US.  But I shall resist because ... this past six months has demonstrated that the Spirit of the Revolution is still alive and well.

Tis ironic that the far right has been citing Jefferson and making noises for years but now all that patriotic stuff about Petitions, Redress, and protests best describe:
  • those who marched the day after the inauguaration all around the US and beyond on behalf of women
  • all those lawyers and others who showed up at airports to protest the Muslim ban
  • all those who have attended town halls and confronted their representatives with righteous indignation
  • all those who have called their Representatives and Senators to register their opposistion to Ryancare/Trumpcare/Wealthcare
I can go on, as there have been many moments of inspiration, many acts of resistance that can serve as what, as a Shiny City on a Hill, as a beacon of hope maybe.  I have no doubt that things will get worse before they get better, especially with a likely opening in the Supreme Court, with more #voterfraudfraud ahead, and with real crises waiting for an underprepared, understaffed, and deliberately destructive administration.  But what this day reminds me is that Americans are pesky folks who are very skeptical of authority, that much of public opinion lines up against Trump, Ryan, and McConnell.  The US has bounced back from recessions, a depression or two, failed wars, and even a civil war.  The costs are often high, and what drives me crazy now is how much of the current mess is a series of unforced errrors.  Still, the US has shown a great capacity to recover because its citizens, including immigrants, are feisty and determined.

So, on this Fourth of July, I take inspiration from those who fought an Empire with a little help (ok, lots of help) from some friends.

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