July 4th has rolled around, and I’m scrambling to hang onto my patriotism. It’s only Tuesday, and this week has already sprung multiple scandals that only further anesthetize our indignation. New Jersey governor Chris Christie was photographed hanging out on a beach that was closed to his constituents because he’d refused to sign the budget. President Cheeto retweeted a badly edited video depicting him beating up the human form of CNN, then his people said it was just a joke. Because constantly threatening the free press isn’t the first sign of a dictator or anything. North Korea now claims that they’ve developed a missile with the range to hit the United States. I really have no idea how Trump isn’t worn out by now. I personally feel worn down to a frazzle.
Yet, this is the holiday where we’re expected to don red, white, and blue clothes and host family barbecues. We’re supposed to blindly adore everything about our country or we’re just unpatriotic. Right now, so-called “snowflakes” are being told over and over again that they should just step back and let Trump do his job.
I say fuck that, but that doesn’t actually weaken my dedication to my country.
I might not follow all the cornier traditions of this holiday. I’m not wearing red, white, or blue today. There’s a fire ban in my area, so I’ll be avoiding fireworks. No one’s invited me to a barbecue, so I’m in the clear there. I didn’t put out an American flag. Yet, I don’t feel that I’m unpatriotic.
Patriotism means loving your country, despite its flaws. It doesn’t entail pretending those flaws don’t exist. We snowflakes protest and call our congressmen because we don’t like what we’re seeing. We love our country, and we love the people in it. Our country is a diverse amalgamation of various cultures, and yes, our past is pretty fucked up. Trump is only the tip of the iceberg when you look back at slavery and the slaughter from our ancestors taking land from native tribes. Americans have taken from those they view as vulnerable for centuries, and this trend will only continue if we don’t stand up for our country.
I am an American. I hate the current American president. Every time I hear him talk, I grind my teeth and think back longingly to George W. Bush. You know things are dire. I hate how the rest of the world views us because this clown is our Commander-in-Chief. We are better than this.
I say this, because I genuinely love my country. This situation is grave, but we will rise above it. I only hope we don’t elect another asshole like Cheeto during my lifetime. I’d like to believe we’ll have learned our lesson for a few decades.