Tuesday, July 3, 2007


We live in a time when it is almost corny to be pro-America and patriotic.

While it is clear that America is far from perfect, having its share of problems, including political corruption, religious intolerance and past historical abuses, as well as other national and international challenges, it is still arguably the most fricking amazing country in the world. This is seen in its ability to self reflect, allow personal and nationwide criticism, and work toward the correction of those flaws and abuses with comparative minimal violence. Of course there is economic corruption, what do you expect in a free market? Of course there is political sleaze, there always has been and always will be in a world enamored with power and prestige. Of course there is bigotry, discrimination and intolerance – those are not uniquely American traits, but part of the human condition.

My point is not to excuse America's abuses or failings, but to simply remind us that this experiment which began in 1776 needs to be remembered and appreciated, whether you are from a Red or Blue state. Whether you are for or against the current war in Iraq and the Bush administration, the fact is that this nation has always stood for freedom in a way no other ever has, even while there were acts of vice, selfishness and corruption in the midst of that stance. Please don't stop your protests or cease with your ideological right wing or left wing opinions, but take a day off, quit whining and complaining, focus on the fact that we can have diverse ideological opinions and freely express them. It is not the case in much, if not most, of the world.

If you want to see this from a fresh and fascinating perspective, read journalist Bruce Bawer's book, While Europe Slept. Bawer, a gay, Liberal democrat moved to Scandinavia ten years ago to marry his male partner and escape America's conservative intolerance, racist bigotry and Capitalistic consumerism. After ten years in Europe, he has written a book commending America compared to Europe's fundamentalist social liberalism which, according to Bawer, has even more intolerance and political corruption than the USA, jeopardizing the future of the free world. Bawer is not some lifelong Conservative, but his ten year exposure to fuzzy-headed socialist liberalism gives a perspective I call the 'Purple State' point of view. Please read it, While Europe Slept. Irshad Manji, a gay Feminist Muslim, has written a similar work titled, The Trouble With Islam Today.

The 4th of July is a time to unite as a free people, seeing both Liberals and Conservatives, and those of us somewhere in between, as citizens of the most perfect of the imperfect nations on the planet. I encourage you to read the Declaration of Independence which I have copied below, read it aloud to others, especially your children, and discuss it for a few minutes in between fireworks and the state of Paris Hilton.

Lastly, a huge word of thanks to those who have served this free country on this auspicious date. Thank you gentlemen, and ladies…we owe you and honor you. Light a cherry bomb for these courageous guys, or a sparkler for those of you from blue states.

Memorable 4th of July! Michael Bogar

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