Political Climate with Mark Simon: My favorite holiday

in Featured/Headline/PoliticalClimate

The Fourth of July always has been my favorite holiday.

It’s in the summer and that means long days, soft evenings and warm weather. It’s a day to be outside all day and into the night. And if I can’t spend the whole day as a kid running around the neighborhood, I can certainly feel such a day as a visceral memory.

Because it’s summer, it’s a day of the best food – pancake breakfasts and barbecues and hot dogs and hamburgers and corn on the cob and watermelon.

There are parades, always communal events, and they make all of us feel a little closer, something along the lines of what Abraham Lincoln called “the mystic chords of memory.”

There are fireworks, and, really, how can anyone not like fireworks? I know, they’re hell on pets, but there is nothing like a good fireworks show and I am always grateful to the organizations that put them on.

It’s also a time of illicit fireworks and while I’m not condoning any activity that might burn down my neighborhood, it makes me think of Ed Sessler, which is always a good thought. I sat behind Ed through middle school and for some years, we were as close as two kids can be. On the Fourth, Ed always had firecrackers and he had a long-running custom of having at least one blow up in his hand every year.

One year, he had a firecracker go off in his left hand while he was throwing another one in his right hand. When I asked him what happened, he said he got so excited about the firecracker he was throwing that he forgot about the one in his left hand. Another time, he wrapped two firecrackers together by their fuses and lit them, and they both went off just as Ed remembered to drop them. Again, I asked what happened. He said he noticed one was burning faster than the other and he was waiting for the slow one to catch up.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: It’s one more reason I love the Fourth of July. I love my country, and it’s a day to celebrate being an American, with all the blessings that brings.

What can be better than independence? What country celebrates individuality like we do? What country embraces all our differences and tries to meld them into one restless, complicated and fascinating mish-mash? All our freedoms make me proud of who we are and who we aspire to be. It’s how I define patriotism.

Patriotism is a tricky word, something to mull over. It seems so many people appropriate it, or misappropriate it.

Samuel Boswell said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” and it does seem as though many scoundrels hide behind it, or embrace it for reasons that have nothing to do with celebrating that all of us start off equal before the law. Some try to dictate to us a strict and rigid definition of patriotism and if we don’t meet that definition, we must not love our country. I’m reminded of another quote from the song “Survivors” by the late folksinger John Stewart, “I believe that the flag, it was more than a rag, but the outlaws in office have shattered my life.”

My own definition is broad and inclusive and takes into account all that makes us distinctive and those differences that make us truly American. My country is not about sameness. I can support those in uniform without having to accede to a uniformity of thought or love of country. I love my country in my own way and I have the freedom to do so without the approval of others.

Conservatives seem always to be absolutist about patriotism: Love your country in my way, or you’re disloyal. During the Vietnam War, a popular bumper sticker was “My country: Love it or leave it.” I don’t know why one person’s love of country has to be expressed in forced alienation of another person’s exercise of the very freedoms we are supposed to represent, including the freedom to disagree.

It’s not about unconditional love. It’s about loving something, warts and all. Is there any more affirmative statement of American values than to go against the crowd, to disagree honorably?

As Mark Twain said, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

Liberals, on the other hand, seem uncomfortable with a firm and fervent assertion of love of country, as though no one wants to impose a set of values on another. There has been a small dust-up on social media over the absence of American flags at the recent televised Democratic debates. Several of the candidates wore flag lapel pins, but no flags on the set. That might be the fault of NBC News, but it is not uncommon to go to Democratic events and observe the absence of any American flags.

If you leave patriotism to those who will cloak themselves in it, don’t be surprised if their embrace doesn’t include you. It may be more accurate to say “My country: Love it or lose it.” So much of public discourse is about the agenda – who determines the topic or the terms and conditions of the debate. When it comes to patriotism – love of country – some people seem to leave the field to others.

In the end, and for me, it’s not about who can make the biggest show, such as the way President Trump seems determined to usurp an annual, national celebration. It’s not just about who can proclaim their love of country on a single day and in the loudest voice. It’s also about who can live the American values of fairness and respect for individual rights on a daily basis.

BACK AT THE PICNIC: That’s worth a celebration. So, I’ll be there at the parade in Redwood City Thursday morning. I’ll get there early to stake out a good spot. I’ll decorate my front yard with flags and at the end of the day, I’ll find some fireworks to watch. In between I’ll eat some food that’s not on my diet and think about Ed Sessler and think about this marvelous experiment in freedom that we continue to undertake.

I’ll be a little more forgiving of those who disagree with me and a little more respectful of those who serve our country in every way possible and I’ll think being born an American is the best definition of luck I can imagine.

Contact Mark Simon at mark.simon24@yahoo.com.

*The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Climate Online.

Photo: Getty Images


  1. [url=http://prozacd7k.com]arm tremors from prozac [/url]
    [url=http://cialisby6.com]cialis 100 mg nedir [/url]
    [url=http://synthroidd6j.com]severe side effects to synthroid [/url]
    [url=http://prednisone0i0.com]prednisolone 10 mg [/url]
    [url=http://cialisd7k.com]cialis prices [/url]

  2. [url=http://sildenafilf5h.com]sildenafil 20 mg how it works [/url]
    [url=http://prednisolonef5h.com]generic prednisolone vs pred forte [/url]
    [url=http://vardenafilf5h.com]buying generic vardenafil [/url]
    [url=http://kamagraf5h.com]kamagra bangkok pharmacy [/url]
    [url=http://cialisf5h.com]my husbands retina detached 3 times when taking cialis [/url]

  3. The Govennment And Viagra cheap viagra generic best price tadalafil” “sildenafil
    where to buy viagra safely [url=https://www.v1agrabuy.com]sildenafil effect on kidney[/url] cheap viagra
    generic canadian

    Related Posts:
    Low cost viagra
    who ddd sildenafil
    generic viagra/montana
    price of generic sildenafil
    what are other uses for viagra

  4. Great things you have shared with us. Nice webpage. I am Elissa Williams. My profession is a personal health expert & talking to people to explain their health issues in an easy technique.

  5. straight leader non-prescription viagra usa pharmacy clearly
    national viagra for sale on craigslist mainly beginning viagra for sale frequently league [url=http://viacheapusa.com/#]viagra usa pharmacies
    online[/url] properly sock viagra for sale ultimately

  6. [url=https://lertilinkgin.tk]hunger games analytical essay [/url]
    [url=https://sehahuasagal.ga]hard indian fuck porn [/url]
    [url=https://chipteponara.gq]conversation openers online dating [/url]
    [url=https://utsnoristrusan.gq]real amateur sife swinging at best western inn [/url]
    [url=https://gadgihofitkey.tk]ass webcam [/url]

  7. [url=https://asissoaglimme.gq]dating an american guy vs hong kong guy [/url]
    [url=https://siagetihasa.tk]hot african teens natural tits naked [/url]
    [url=https://coaclevtaubrum.gq]CHINESE SHOPLIFTER STRIPPED NAKED [/url]
    [url=https://ennderafdime.gq]nude heels with black dress [/url]
    [url=https://micotbiwa.tk]find sex and coke on dating sites [/url]
    [url=https://zugsmerolopjobs.cf]asian teen chat room [/url]

  8. [url=https://neyvelnafitcuss.gq]neyvelnafitcuss.gq[/url]
    [url=https://subgfolketkheba.ml]amateur couple try threesome [/url]
    [url=https://swolketpnyslare.tk]lesbian milf and teen tight jeans porn [/url]
    [url=https://millosojack.tk]nude asian teen creampie [/url]
    [url=https://growagulibex.cf]us contacts free teen chat [/url]
    [url=https://chielgesapap.tk]camp for teen girls [/url]
    [url=https://restrerela.tk]thai bar girl porn tube [/url]

  9. [url=https://esapalan.tk]online dating bodybuilding forums [/url]
    [url=https://dolnopumi.tk]asian white porn csptions [/url]
    [url=https://charwomemistgi.ga]live gay chat free [/url]
    [url=https://hotchfuddnawahm.tk]thick thigh milf porn [/url]
    [url=https://limterfcandfactua.tk]what does AGTDF stand for in essays [/url]
    [url=https://tylpgocacircgram.gq]rena 42 year old busty mixed asian milf [/url]
    [url=https://unerslovme.cf]mariah carry in lesbian relation video [/url]
    [url=https://reguamatar.ga]lesbian incest dildo daughter deep videos [/url]

  10. [url=https://depaborcharel.cf]depaborcharel.cf[/url]
    [url=https://tistreberfimo.tk]sex by hidden camera [/url]
    [url=https://rafibmysemen.ml]do people really meet on dating sites [/url]
    [url=https://aztavenlind.tk]rough teen lesbian sex hd [/url]
    [url=https://deiwidruchampfon.tk]primals milf sex gif [/url]

  11. [url=https://outafetniga.tk]free granny dating sites [/url]
    [url=https://roystituninam.ga]amateur dp porn tube [/url]
    [url=https://losijustdee.tk]lesbian milf teen outside gif prn [/url]
    [url=https://travtitasixi.cf]sexiest college lesbians nude [/url]
    [url=https://dinafersett.cf]ebony pussy closeup solo [/url]
    [url=https://comvembnazoo.tk]ayumi anime and jaclyn taylor lesbian sex gif [/url]
    [url=https://konfsacate.tk]fit mature milfs in stockings sucking [/url]

  12. [url=https://roihomancaiconc.tk]dating korean girls pdf [/url]
    [url=https://pregdemilea.tk]older mature swingers sex party [/url]
    [url=https://bestspinverfe.tk]nude ebony mature women [/url]
    [url=https://rairamoseli.gq]milf husband cock whipping [/url]
    [url=https://alukflusinab.gq]hayley paige carly parker lesbian porn [/url]
    [url=https://tylpgocacircgram.gq]mature hairy women and black men milf tubes [/url]
    [url=https://agnesisoba.ga]milf and teen pussy [/url]

  13. [url=https://ulelrouslamet.ml]ulelrouslamet.ml[/url]
    [url=https://etryaritmentber.cf]pornxxx milf first anal [/url]
    [url=https://diescissiorac.cf]big tit milf creampie [/url]
    [url=https://dermobowquinkil.tk]angel suazo online dating [/url]
    [url=https://inaqfecria.tk]skinny teen gf fucked [/url]
    [url=https://xcarquihobes.ga]18 teen sex chat [/url]
    [url=https://stitnobosubs.tk]lesbian home video tumblr [/url]

  14. Hey guys i have been doing pills for around 7 years. You could consider doing this for 2 days on, one or more days off. • Alcohol intake must be avoided soon after taking the medication because it may result into the amplification of the side effects. Cialis intake results into side effects in some individuals, but don’t worry because many of them are temporary and they disappear as your body gets familiar to this medication dosage.

    https://www.ciaonlinebuy.us – cialis online

  15. [url=https://imeadrapers.tk]russian dashboard cams [/url].

    adult webcam couples [url=https://thinbeisurolor.gq]adult webcam couples [/url] adult webcam reviews.

    pornhub live amateur sex show [url=https://unenatgyeno.gq]unenatgyeno.gq[/url] melody star public sex show .

  16. [url=https://imeadrapers.tk]free amateur sex cams [/url].

    adult webcam chat room [url=https://idunarproph.ml]idunarproph.ml[/url] adult web cams.

    best gay chat line dayton ohio [url=https://bathscobensraker.ga]bathscobensraker.ga[/url] gay chat rooms with hairy guys .

  17. free amateur sex cams [url=https://itabenar.tk]itabenar.tk[/url] sex chat free.

    adult webcam.com [url=https://idunarproph.ml]idunarproph.ml[/url] adult webcam modeling.

    homemade big tits creampie [url=https://tuiwabinafe.ml]tuiwabinafe.ml[/url] big beautiful women nude and wet .

  18. free adult webcam stream [url=https://goldcingtreesanchi.ga]goldcingtreesanchi[/url] my free cams reddit.

    [url=https://asbacombuybrin.ga]adult webcam tube [/url].

    sexy teens give their man a hard workout [url=https://tuiwabinafe.ml]tuiwabinafe.ml[/url] sexy teens using dildos until orgasm .

  19. 15 cams bbw [url=https://traprepfaramitz.tk]traprepfaramitz.tk[/url] home made sex cams.

    adult webcam chat site [url=https://theocrostirab.tk]theocrostirab.tk[/url] adult webcam videos.

    naked sexy teens fucking dilldo and squirting hard in legfings [url=https://tuiwabinafe.ml]tuiwabinafe.ml[/url] sexy teens first lesbian fuck at work .

  20. free video adult chat [url=https://skydneyblinanap.gq]web cams free live [/url] free adult webcam roulette.

    adult webcams [url=https://caphapupolas.ga]caphapupolas.ga[/url] adult webcam forum.

    kentucky cam girls [url=https://swifrowealaron.ml]swifrowealaron.ml[/url] how long do cam girls go for .

  21. toronto sex cams [url=https://traprepfaramitz.tk]live cams [/url] sex chat free.

    adult webcam forum [url=https://idunarproph.ml]idunarproph.ml[/url] adult webcams.

    whats up with the pink sex toys on web cam girls [url=https://swifrowealaron.ml]swifrowealaron.ml[/url] eno teen cam girls .