What we should Americans do on the 4th of July?

What should Americans do to celebrate the 4th of July?

  • Congratulate ourselves on the glory that is America?  No, that’s delusional.  We inherited America, and are squandering its strengths.
  • Congratulate the founders on their accomplishments?  Nice, but they would prefer that we maintain their work — not wreck it.
  • Pondering how to get America back on track?  Yes.  Watching fireworks with a beer in hand and friends around, while the children play — a great background for some reflections on the current state of the American experiment.

You may borrow some material from these two posts to get the conversation roaring.  The first is IMO the best article on this website.

  1. Forecast: Death of the American Constitution, 4 July 2006
  2. The first step to reforming America (the final version), 7 December 2009

Should you be called upon to say a few words on this day, these might be most appropriate.

(1)  This anecdote has been traced back to James McHenry’s (Secretary of War in Washington’s second term):

As he was leaving the constitutional Convention, Elizabeth Powell greeted Benjamin Franklin with this pointed question:  “Doctor, what have we got — a Republic or a Monarchy?”  He replied “A republic, if you can keep it.”

(2)  Some words that have a dark ring today.

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves…”
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to William Charles Jarvis, 28 September 1820

Other Independence Day Posts

  1. Forecast: Death of the American Constitution, 4 July 2006
  2. A report card for the Republic: are we still capable of self-government?, 4 July 2008
  3. What we should Americans do on the 4th of July?, 4 July 2010
  4. Advice from the past about ways to celebrate Independence Day, 3 July 2013

For More Information

Reference pages, links to posts about America:

  1. Good news about America
  2. Reforming America: steps to political change



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