Politics, Presidents, and Patriotism this 4th of July

Happy Birthday AmericaAs the 4th of July comes around again, we are all reminded of our patriotism on this most important holiday for our country, the anniversary of American independence. Celebrating the birthday of our country is important and it is even more important to do so with dignity and respect.

In this year of presidential politics the vitriol, hate, selfishness, and intolerance is at an all time high. This is a recipe for disaster normally, but can be much worse when compounded by alcohol and the hard times so many are having. Keep this in mind as the casual 4th of July political conversations begin at the BBQ’s. Remember that those around you are your friends and family. You should value them, their ideas and their political opinions.

Too often tolerance, cooperation, and comprise have been labeled as flaws, as traits of the weak. In fact these simple traits are some of the keystone ideas to this country, how it was formed and how it has survived to this point. Without these good and decent traits, the founding fathers would never have been able to agree on the Bill of Rights. The Constitution of the United States of America is written with tolerance and acceptance as its guiding principles: That we are all equal and we all have an equal right to our thoughts and opinions. These two documents make up the very foundation of America. America cannot thrive or prosper if we are all focused on our own agenda, wants and needs. We must think of what is good for us, but we must also work hard to see what is best for our country as a whole. Only through selflessness can we hope to see our country truly grow, prosper and flourish.

We must look to each other and help each other gain understanding, trust, and willingness to use these guiding principles in our everyday lives.

We must have tolerance and understanding for the nearly infinite amount of variety and differences in the lives of Americans and non citizens alike. You can do this by taking a moment and try to consider yourself in a similar situation or with a similar dilemma. Would your choice or reaction be the same if it was a stranger versus your mother, daughter, or friend?

We are all Americans and we need to learn to cooperate. Lack of cooperation doesn’t move this country forward. It sticks us all in an endless loop. And while we Americans are chasing our tails, the other nations of this world are pulling out ahead.

Above all, if there is any hope for us to move forward we must cast off the false ideas that compromise is a fault. That it is weakness. That it is giving up. That just simply is not true. For us to have any hope in moving forward and making a better world for ourselves and our children we will have to learn to compromise again. Compromise is when two or more parties agree on a middle ground. So a perfect compromise is when each party of a two-party negotiation gets 50% of what they want. In real compromise the only steps that all parties can agree on are small ones. This is how it should be. We should be making small steps towards progress, without looking back, to make this country better. These giant leaps of legislation, these radical ideological bills need to be greatly muted through real compromise. This can only happen if we make compromise a priority and force our politicians to make real compromise.

This is idealistic I know. And it sounds as if it’s a pipe dream of a fanciful, and unrealistic, thinker. However, this is not fantasy. Politics has been like this before. It’s hard to think that we as Americans are devolving in our politics and in our society. But I believe that is exactly the case right now. Our government barely functions and this paralysis has filtered through our entire country. From the debates about health care reform to the backyard discussions about immigration. Politics has devolved to name calling and bickering with too few now able to seriously, ethically and respectfully discuss the topics of today.

So when you think of the state of America on its official birthday, this 4th of July, make sure that you, and those around you, are sticking to these core principles that can and will guide us into a better and brighter future.