Friday, July 3, 2009
This weekend we Americans celebrate the 233rd birthday of the United States with backyard beer, brats and bunting. Ours is a wonderful country, we believe, a shining City on a Hill, an example to all mankind.
But that exceptionalism so dear to our hearts is a pernicious myth that hides a host of crimes. Behind our flag we have polluted the planet and denied the overwhelming science that warns against global warming. We refuse habeas corpus to captured enemies we have tortured needlessly. We meddle militarily in the affairs of other nations behind the ill-conceived notion of "national security." Some of us want to keep out immigrants of color. Some of us want everyone to believe in their particular god.
We're not perfect and we should not strut down the street as if we were.
The Fourth ought to be a day of humility as well as pride, a day of reflection as well as celebration. We are a great nation but we could be ever so much better.