[This was originally in To The Point for July 4, 2004. It needed only a slight updating for 2006. We at To The Point wish all of you an exceedingly happy Fourth of July.]
July 4th is Freedom's Birthday. My suggestion is, amidst the fireworks and barbeques and flag-waving fun – all of which are great – that you take the time to feel good about America.
Put aside your worries and concerns, your frustrations and fears about what's wrong with America. For one day, forget the negative – put it all in a zip-lock bag, hide it in the back of the freezer, and pretend it doesn't exist.
One reason is that, for all your worries about America's culture and morality, you and all your fellow conservatives can feel good about your country. Liberals can't. One of the defining characteristics of leftie-liberals is an inability to feel truly proud of their country – proud to the bone.
You cannot be a liberal without feeling apologetic and embarrassed over being an American. You cannot be a conservative without lacking any such embarrassment or compulsion to apologize at all.
Being an American is simply the coolest thing on earth. Wherever I have traveled in the world – it's some 190 countries now – whenever someone asks me, "Where are you from?", it's always such a thrill to answer, "America – I'm an American."
I'm an American. Say it to yourself. Doesn't it feel fantastic? It's a feeling liberals can never have.
You travel around the world and you see the remnants of history's great civilizations. You walk through the preserved wreckage of Rome's Imperial Forum or the Acropolis of Ancient Athens and you wonder — what was it really like to be here when these civilizations were at their peak? You can do that today in Washington DC — or your hometown.
We Americans are privileged to live in one of history's supreme moments. We Americans are participants in one of history's greatest civilizations in its prime.
Someday in some future epoch, history will have moved on, and there will be distant centuries between that time and the American Era. People will then look upon America as we do upon ancient Egypt or Greece, and will do so with same wonder and awe.
I suggest you look upon America with that wonder and awe now.
There is so much to love about our country, so much to feel good about. Despite all the indecency that can drive you crazy — and we're forgetting about all of that for the time being, right? — there is so much decency and moral goodness in America that it just takes your breath away.
America is the most moral and humanitarian nation ever to exist. The gifts it has freely given the world — of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, of proclaiming that all human beings have a moral right to their own personal happiness, of capitalist wealth and scientific progress throughout the world, of sacrificing oceans of blood to end Nazi and Tojo tyranny, of oceans of treasure to assist other countries and foreign peoples, of ridding the world of the curse of the Soviet Union, on and on and on — are incalculable.
Today, America is embarked on the single greatest humanitarian effort of modern times — handing freedom to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan on a golden platter, and attempting thereby to give the entire Middle East the opportunity to achieve democracy.
For anyone, foreign or domestic, who out of envious ingratitude or the fear of it, disagrees – tough scatology. Or to paraphrase Vice-President Dick Cheney as told to Senator Pat Leahy, "May you be the recipient of self-induced unlawful carnal knowledge."
In other words, forget the swine. Forget the pathology of Bush-hatred and America-hatred, which the Democrats have fused together, the treason of the New York Times and its media fellow travelers, the bottomless cultural degradation, forget all of it. Think instead about what my wife and I saw at our son Jackson's sixth-grade graduation.
It was at Spring Hill Elementary, a public school in Fairfax County, Virginia. The very first activity was for everyone to stand up, face the American flag proudly displayed, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The second was to sing the Star-Spangled Banner. Every single day at Spring Hill Elementary begins with every class reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
These kids – like all kids born since the early 80s – are "Civics," the same generational type as the Greatest Generation that fought World War II.
For an explanation of the theory of generational types, see The Curse of the Xers . Suffice it to say, the decency and wholesomeness of the new Civic generation are strong grounds for optimism regarding America's future.
I want you to have a fearless Fourth of July. You need have no fear for America. The time of our culture's moral regeneration is not far off. There is so much to feel good about being American. There is so much to celebrate on Freedom's Birthday.