"Freedom ... is not an endlessly expanding list of rights - the 'right' to education, the 'right' to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery." - P.J. O'Rourke
Each year I do an Independence Day column, but the Fourth of July sneaked up on me this year. I guess I missed America's birthday because we are not friends on Facebook, which would remind me.
It is an important time of year. The patriotism and national pride in this one day are important for our kids; they almost undo one semester of public school teaching during the year.
Independence Day is a great American tradition which combines three things we like: eating, alcohol and fireworks. Set against the pent-up tension of having to be around all your relatives in scorching heat with dubious potato salad, what could be better than to add drinking and explosives to the mix?
My family has great memories of the Fourth. We would drink and then Uncle Mac (my "Drunkle," may he RIP) would do his one-man fireworks show. His eye-patch reminded us of past such performances. Nothing brings back Fourth of July memories like hearing the kids say, "Quick, ice down Mac's fingers and let's get him to the emergency room. I hope they can sew them back on again. Tell Dr. Seiler we are on the way."
After a few drinks, we also like to make crank calls to Queen Elizabeth on Independence Day.
That red-hot, never wrong information machine, the CDC, warns us not to undercook our meat at picnics for fear of bacteria-borne illnesses. As a handy guide for barbecues, it advises that your steak might be under-grilled if you look up and it is eating your corn. For more helpful cooking tips, follow me online.
The nation celebrates Independence Day in different ways. In the patriotic South, we celebrate with picnics and family gatherings. In Democratic-dominated Northern cities, people protest the lack of abortion rights for transvestites. In Chicago, they have extra gun violence on hot Fourth of July weekends. So many get shot in Chicago that it is mathematically safer to marry O.J. Simpson or to cross the Clintons rather than to live in the Windy City.
Our freedoms and history have eroded under Democrats and the "woke" crowd. An Ivy League school just removed a copy of the Gettysburg Address and a bust of Abraham Lincoln from its library. Remember, Abe was a Republican who freed the slaves. I am not sure how these woke dopes will explain the absence of his bust from the library. Perhaps they will say that this national treasure decided to transition into an empty pedestal that used to be an Abe Lincoln bust.
On the bright side, it looks like Democrats, having screwed up about everything they have touched (the border, inflation, the stock market/economy, the Afghanistan pullout, etc.), will be swept out of office in November. This year, with gas prices the highest ever, it is cheaper to smoke your grass than to mow it.
But sadly, switching the parties of those who run the country in November is like the movie "Dumb and Dumber," when Lloyd and Harry switched the driving duties of their cross-country dirt bike.
Above all else, our founders valued freedom. They did not write "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness unless somebody is offended." Their pursuit of happiness would not involve arresting us for not buying government-mandated health insurance or spending government resources to impede gay marriage. Remember, these men donned satin pedal-pusher britches, wigs, fancy shoes and ruffled shirts, and then fought their bright-red-coated relatives in King George III's army. They won our freedom – and a nomination for the first Oscar award for Best Costume in a Drama.
Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed satirist, author and TV/radio commentator, at [email protected] or Twitter @RonaldHart.