As I have written, the United States of America declared independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. The Fourth of July is not America’s birthday. That being said, July 4 is, nonetheless, a day worthy of celebration. After all, it was on July 4, 1776 that the United States became, in the world of Lincoln, a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
For more than two hundred years Americans have been celebrating the anniversary of our independence on the wrong day.
The men who designed our Constitution were unusually brilliant members of an unusually brilliant generation.
They were not, however, infallible.
Their greatest failure should be obvious to everyone. (If you do not know to what failure I am referring please seek help immediately. Because there is something deeply wrong with you.)
Two years ago nine African American worshipers were killed in a racially motivated terrorist attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In the wake of the attack journalists discovered that the perpetrator had been regularly photographed with Confederate flags. Since that time a growing number of people have called, often successfully, for the removal of Confederate flags and symbols from public places.
While I disagree with Steve Scalise on essentially every important issue, I wish him and all those wounded in Wednesday morning’s vile attack a speedy and full recovery.
I write today about a dangerous time in the history of our great republic; a time in which nativist prejudice rears its ugly head; an era in which xenophobic demagogues stir up irrational fears of outsiders in an effort to gain power.