It’s July 4. How should I feel?

It’s July 4. How should I feel?

The cliched answer is, “Grateful.” And maybe that’s the correct answer, too. Grateful to live in a democracy. Grateful to live in a place that’s provided immense opportunities. Grateful to be in beautiful Southern California, miles from the coastline.

But … I dunno. Last night I caught a bit of Donald Trump speaking to his mind slaves about stolen elections and the Capitol storming. I watched his mind slaves cheer and clap. And I thought, “Jesus—this is 30 percent of my fellow citizens. Thirty percent believe this conman. Thirty percent think he—and he alone—lights the way.”

I look at our inaction on climate change, and how we’re too cowardly/dumb/greedy to lift a finger. I look at racism, sexism, homophobia, and how more and more people are revolting against the very idea of combating hate. They seem to believe that hatred—deep, raw hatred—is righteous nationalism.

I want to feel good about America. I want to have love in my heart.

But, to be honest, this July 4 I have far more doubts than resolve. I wonder, a decade from now, what the United States of America even looks like. I wonder if we survive all this. I wonder if corporations have finally figured out how to own all of us. I wonder if we can still be collectively decent. I wonder, if 9.11 happened today, could the nation rally as one.

I see the flag, and I see three separate colors.

I don’t see unity.

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