In less than a week, we celebrate our nation’s 246th anniversary.
This great experiment we call the United States of America was founded in the spirit of liberty for one and all. There are many who throw stones at the founders and the process, and that’s fine.
As Americans, they have that right. We can be critical of the process, those who authored the process and the current stewards of said process.
We look out across this great land and see division and chaos. But that’s part of being in a country like ours. We can disagree. Having a specific opinion, irrespective of what side of the stream you dock your political boat, doesn’t make you a bad person. I have many friends who have differing viewpoints as it pertains to politics. I used to debate those folks for hours when I finally surmised that the back and forth was pointless.
It occurred to me that most of those folks who have varying viewpoints probably agree with me on 80 percent of everything else. I adopt the Thomas Jefferson axiom: I will not allow a difference of opinion in respect to politics, philosophy or religion as a reason for withdrawing from a friend.
Sadly, with most people, it’s all or nothing. And now, those who aren’t with the program are getting “canceled.”
That’s not the American way. The eagle needs a right wing and left wing to fly, as people much wiser than me have said. There was once a time when our leaders worked together and this notion of personal destruction didn’t exist, at least not like it does today.
Even with the chaos, the tepid leadership, the uncertainty, we have a chance to celebrate being part of the longest-established government in the history of the world.
No, we aren’t perfect. This country has some awful blemishes, but the evolutionary process over the past 246 years has allowed us to correct some of those issues. We have come a long way, but we also have a long way to go.
I suspect we always will. That’s the nature of our beast.
So, as we celebrate July 4th, enjoy your backyard barbecue, enjoy the homemade ice cream and apple pie, enjoy the baseball games and enjoy the abundant fireworks that celebrate the creation of this great nation.
And, as I’ve said before, thank your lucky stars … and stripes … that you are American.
Editor’s note: Jim Steele is a correspondent for Magic Valley Publishing and the host of The Pressbox radio show, which airs 4-6 p.m CT Monday-Thursday on WRJB, 95.9 FM, Camden, Tenn.