We, as Americans, have a terrible tendency of putting inconsistent guidelines on what it means to be an American. Most of it comes in the form of political ideology and other nuanced things that can never truly quantify a person’s dedication to their country. And this is ad news for fairly obvious reasons.
The idea that someone isn’t American enough based on things like thought, religion, ethnicity, or economic circumstances is not only ridiculous, it’s counterproductive to achieving civil discourse. Patriotism itself is one’s ability to still love their country and countrymen even when they don’t necessarily agree with things; it’s about patience, listening, and having a well-constructed argument of how you think things can be better.
You can’t simply cover yourself in a flag or scream the loudest in order to be a good American. You have to continually work for it with the other 300 million plus people sharing this land.
All that said, there’s something inherently unsettling about someone who can’t have a good time on the 4th of July. It’s the one day that all Americans have the opportunity to drop differences and share fun and fellowship with each other. Food, fireworks, and friendship are the staples of the day.
We share this together because of a common history that binds us together. We subconsciously understand that the American experiment can only continue with camaraderie, and there’s no better place to exploit that than a massive, nationally recognized party that includes explosions, alcohol, and probably a little sunburn.
We are all stuck in this things together. We might as well have a little fun with it.