I usually post these patriotic images or something like them on the 4th of July on Facebook or here. Lately each year this gets harder, but I decided to post them again this year. Now, I feel no affirmation or joy, but only anger and sorrow. Everything that these images stand for is being trashed and betrayed. People worked, struggled, bled, and died over the last 150 years to turn “Liberty and Justice for All” from a pious sentiment into a concrete reality. And now all their work and sacrifice is being undone.
As our republic throws away the liberal democracy that it invented to embrace a squalid despotism, this Independence Day I want to remember not great leaders or heroes, but the many people in the rank and file who did all the work, al the fighting, and all the dying. The USA was made by and for them. Constitutional democracy of the people, by the people and for the people is now perishing from the face of the earth. Ever since the end of the Civil War in 1865, the project of American history was to expand the franchise, to include more and more people in the phrase We The People... The modern era began when people decided to rule themselves rather than be ruled. And now autocracy will replace Liberty. Domination will replace Equality. And power will replace Justice. May Liberty, Equality, and Justice live again.
As the official celebration in Washington DC this year glorifies our presumptive dictator, so I want this blog to commemorate the rank and file by whom and for whom the USA was created. So no Presidents, no great leaders, no military commanders, and certainly no celebrities. Just the Everybody who did the work, fought the fights, and made the sacrifices to make the USA live out in concrete fact its founding creed that all are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights.
"Contraband Jackson," a young escaped slave who served as a drummer boy and stretcher bearer for the US Army, photographed about 1863.