Today is Independence Day for the United States of America. 232 years ago, representatives from each of 13 colonies approved an extremely radical statement that asserted independence, ended the hereditary monarchy over a subject people with suppressed rights, and set up a truly representative form of government who answered only to an ideal, not to a king or a god.
There was a bloody Revolution there, and the homeland and its ideals were well-fought for. I recognize that I am descended from men who fought for independence in that war, and defended it in future ones. It gives me some DNA connection to those events, but I also strongly believe that sort of thing is not what America is about – just a devotion to an idea.
It has been going abroad, both to Spain and through AIESEC, which has made me recognize what America is, why I like what America is at the very core, and especially that I am extremely American. I respect what I am, and so I respect that. At our core is the ideal of independence itself, the ability to live and enjoy one’s life on one’s own terms. Clearly I do not disdain society or association, but I do respect someone who can live their life on their own terms, someone who is one’s own god and king. America does not need to press that on the world, we simply need to make it a part of the global melting pot, just as each society has its good ways.
The Revolution is not over, and it has never been over. Our state has gone through bloodshed, alienation, and a lot of soul-searching to ensure safe health standards, the feedom and enfranchisement of all people, labor rights, environmental cooperation and consideration, and many more accomplishments, and even failures. There is a much farther way to go, and it may never be over. I read an interesting article this morning at breakfast in Creative Loafing about the problems homosexuals still face in the military. That is only one place where the Revolution is not finished. We require people to show ID for domestic flights. People are persecuted over a war on drugs, not helped out of addiction. We still have a state.
I will probably dedicate a large part of my life to continue fighting that Revolution.