Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July

Rob Ostermaier/Daily Press/July 4, 2007
Working on July Fourth is fun. People are more patriotic than they have ever been, but in a newsroom they also tend to have a jaded, sarcastic patriotism. It's beautiful. Mostly because if you take yourself too seriously all of the time life gets too short.
To me, it is much more wonderful to take the Fourth of July and celebrate the beginning of our country: the questioning of a government. So I have no problems with those people who felt the need to jeer at a president they don't believe even has others are taking an oath to uphold the values of the country that man 'represents.' To me, that moment speaks exactly to what this country is all about. And to Dubba's credit, he mentioned one aspect of our country as well (free speech) and did not get mad, but, seemingly, welcomed the critique.
And it is always nice to read a newspaper opinion that is not afraid to remind people that they need to give patriotism as a word a rest. Patriotism isn't about wearing a lapel pin and declaring you love your country. It's about showing that you love your country by being willing to fight for the betterment of it. By not backing down, even when others say that your country is a sham. Being an American is great. I will never be embarassed to say I'm an American. I will disown any connection between that word and a president, or a reverand, or any specific person, however. Being an American means I can say that Bush is an idiot and not fear for my life. But being an American also means that I won't just say it, I will do it (through voting).
Well enough diatribes for one day. Time for me to get back to work.

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