I suppose the observation of the anniversary is appropriate. The event itself deserves honorary commemoration, regardless of the failing results of our great experiment in self-rule. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and for most of the first couple of centuries the rest of the world was much enamored of democracy, as exemplified by the Americans, meaning the United States. The rest of the “Americas” were seen as subject to exploitation by the Gringo Empire. In an age of empires few questioned the Monroe Doctrine of hemispheric monopoly and the expulsion of European rule.
And it wasn’t really our fault that slavery and native genocide were the hallmark of our domestic success in claiming and taming the vast wilderness we conquered. The general attitude toward natives on every continent outside Europe was one of training and domestication of lesser animals, a concept challenged by China and very few other societies.
But since the last century it has become increasingly difficult to get worked up at the passing of the flag in parades of patriotic appreciation. The record of wars and the huge corporate profits therefrom leaves a bitter aftertaste in retrospect. Just why did we fight in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and the current occupation of Afghanistan? How many societies have we left broken and betrayed in our crusader adventures around the globe?
Here at home most of the ideals we espoused in the Bill of Rights are either inoperative in the new climate of Homeland Security, or under siege by a theocratic terrorist fringe of Xtian jihadies usurping local and state government powers through our cash and carry electoral process. Whatever old glory used to stand for, it is now the trademark for capitalism run rampant, with full support of an autocratic government, bought and paid for by the fascist forces of greed.
Like most Americans I am embarrassed but still proud of what we tried to create in the world of political self rule, and I hope that some of the many nations that took our example to heart can pull it off better than we have done.
Good luck in the continuing struggle for independence in a world of corporate custody.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views. He can be reached at email@example.com.