arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Great Experiment in Democracy (Continues)


Regardless of what side of the healthcare debate Americans found themselves (which may or may not have been decided once and for all last week), we must remember that the whole exercise demonstrates one important fact. The system works!

Yes, Tea Partiers and liberals! Conservatives and libertarians! Cats and dogs! Rejoice! This great experiment in democracy has displayed its greatest asset once again: resiliency!

Okay, granted the virtue of resiliency depends on the antiquated concept of compromise. Never fear! Compromise will — like the miniskirt — have to make a comeback sooner or later.

I write all this — even though I’m sick and tired of the whole healthcare reform battle — because today is the day that is marked as the birthday of this great experiment. Oh, some may quibble and insist that the real birth of this country occurred when the Constitution was finalized in 1789. 
 
Let’s contrast and compare the dates which we would be obligated to celebrate. The Constitution was created on September 17, 1787; the Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776. Why should we celebrate one date in the middle of a very hot, humid season over the other, a decidedly cooler day of the year on the cusp of autumn?
 
It appears that it boils down to the dates themselves. To say, “Let’s celebrate  September 17” is just too clumsy and clunky. For one thing, it comprises seven syllables, which is six syllables too many for most people. The “Fourth of July” is only four syllables; it rolls off the tongue like a nice mushy mouthful of potato salad would slide down the throat at a summer picnic held — coincidentally — on the Fourth of July!

The hot humid conditions of the summer could very well be another deciding factor as to why independence happened when it did. The two most noteworthy examples of independence are the United States (1776 or 1787, take your pick) and France (1789).  Both events marking these countries escape from tyranny happened in July.  

There was the very subtle adoption of our Declaration of Independence on the Fourth, and the highly dramatic storming of the Bastille in France on the Fourteenth. Granted, there are a lot of factors which contributed to these events, but we probably shouldn’t dismiss the weather as an element.    

Possibly the heat of the season makes people more restless, more prone to recalcitrance than in other times of the year. Although the drama at the Bastille was capped by the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen on August 26…the debate over when to celebrate independence can start all over again. After all, why should Americans have all the fun?

I shouldn’t belabor this point any more than I need to. This is a day for grilling burgers, watching parades and fireworks, or engaging in summer type activities like swimming and camping. It’s not really a day for blog writing or reading, although the liberties won on this day do make the entire concept of blogs possible.

Today Americans all over the country will put aside their political and philosophical differences, and come together as one people to celebrate what makes us united: our desire for freedom. It’s too bad that we can’t do something like this more often than just twice a year (Christmas being the other day set aside for joining together in peace and harmony). Surely, it has got to be the heat that brings this out in all of us.

(Thank you for reading!  Happy and safe Fourth everyone!)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Janey said...

Dear Fellow American,

Your enlightening and inspiring history lesson demands but a single correction: the miniskirt never went away, and therefore needs no comeback!

I spent today at that festival of Americana, the Kutztown Folk Festival. Oh, the teeming hordes, yearning to breathe free! The people-watching was fabulous, and with my pink tie-dye shirt and freshily bleached hair (just a light lemon rinse, of course), I too was sight to behold. I was mistaken for a woman several times (stopped on my way into the men's room, at one point), but I felt the freedom to let my androgony fly like a flag. And the total cost of my purchases of stampers and stamp pads: $17.76!

Happy Fourth to you and AnneMarie!
Love, Janey

July 4, 2012 at 2:22 PM  

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