Though it became a federal holiday only in 1941, Americans have been celebrating Independence Day since the colonies broke away from the British crown. Today, a core of extremists wants to erase our history and at the same time fix it in the public’s mind that this country is illegitimate due to a racist past and present, its colonial foundation, and capitalist system of exploitation. This leaves us to wonder how many more glorious Fourths we have left.
As we noted on Monday, most of us consider ourselves to be either “extremely” (44%) or “very” (23%) proud to be Americans. A mere 6% of the country said it was not proud to be an American.
Good news, no? But just below the surface, the numbers from our I&I/TIPP poll are alarming.
Only 36% of those from 18 to 24, the future of this country, said they were proud to be Americans. Sixty-four percent of Democrats, who hold majorities in the White House and U.S. House, share power in the Senate, and truly dominate the media, and the entertainment industry and culture, say they’re proud to be Americans. This isn’t disturbing, but it doesn’t inspire confidence, since 85% of Republicans hold the same view. That’s a significant divide.
There’s also a sizable gap between the 18-24 group and older Americans. Six in 10 (59%) of those from 25 to 44 say they’re proud of their American heritage, while 75% in the 45-64 group feel the same. Nearly nine in 10 (86%) over 65 are proud to be Americans.
The lack of respect for our earned liberty among young adults is particularly concerning in light of what is clearly a concerted effort to delegitimize America and cast it as a systemically racist, oppressive, violent, and imperialist regime. Consider what we’ve seen and heard just in recent days:
- The day before the Fourth, the New York Times, overflowing with politicized stories and opinion pieces it knows its readers are hungry for, published an article headlined “A Fourth of July Symbol of Unity That May No Longer Unite.”
- National Geographic decided Saturday was a good day to plant the idea in our collective consciousness that fireworks are racist.
- In saying that being vaccinated is “the most patriotic thing you can do,” President Joe Biden reduced Independence Day to an occasion for the state to issue commands it expects its subjects to obey.
- Never-in-doubt, seldom-right actress Alyssa Milano posted a video of herself reading, “Reminder: The United States was founded on the unjust treatment of Native Americans, Africans and other people of color.”
- Former MSNBC anchor Toure, a genuine race agitator whose extremism has been celebrated by those in what we once called “polite company,” tweeted “The only independence day I recognize is Juneteenth.” It was preceded by “F–k Fourth of July.”
- Democrat Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri tweeted that “when they say that the 4th of July is about American freedom, remember this: the freedom they’re referring to is for White people. This land is stolen land and Black people still aren’t free.”
- The 1619 project, which claims America’s real birth was in 1619 when slaves arrived in Virginia, not when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, has been legitimized among elitists and opinion-makers even though it’s a scholarly flop and a thinly disguised effort to stir divisiveness and incite anger.
America is imperfect. It is not beyond criticism. It’s flaws cannot be excused. But not one nation in history has provided more liberty and opportunity than the U.S. No country has welcomed more cultures into its melting pot, freed more from slavery and political repression, permitted more open expression, demonstrated greater patience, or created conditions in which millions have become unimaginably wealthy. Anyone who feels there is a nation out there superior to the U.S. is free to leave and pursue their happiness there.
No one is forced to observe Independence Day. In this country, the liberty we enjoy that no other nation has ever had allows us to celebrate or to opt out. We’re not in China, where 1.4 billion are expected to bow to the Communist Party and participate in its celebration of 100 years of violent rule. Yet truly twisted minds have somehow made America into the greatest of all villains.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board