July 4, 2017

A Day Off From MAGA


In the United States, there is one day a year on which many people come together in celebration of patriotism, nationalism, and American exceptionalism. They gather to grill meat and drink watered down American beer. In some regions of the country, many exhibit a surprising disregard for their neighbors by setting off fireworks in residential neighborhoods well past midnight and allowing the debris to settle in their neighbors' yards. That day is today, the 4th of July.

This year, I find that my thoughts turn to President Trump's talk of "making America great again" (MAGA). We've been hearing a lot from him and his supporters about how horrible America is, about how we have the most pathetic military in the world, about how our miserably our economy is doing, about our high crime rate, about how everybody around the world wants to kill us, and so on. I suppose these dire conditions must have resulted from the 8 years we spent under a "tyrant" who never actually took our guns away and who uncharacteristically left office when scheduled to do so. Not much of a tyrant, was he?

If Christmas is the one day of the year when Christians try to be nice to others, the 4th of July seems to be the one day when conservatives temporarily set aside the MAGA talk and acknowledge that there are some great things about America already. Or at the very least, many of them will pause to claim pride in a country they've spent the last several years disparaging.

We could certainly complain about this. We could call attention to the hypocrisy, pointing out how ridiculous it is to claim simultaneously that we are "the greatest country on Earth" and that we are in such awful shape that we need a savior (i.e., Trump). As tempting as this may be, I think I'll just be content to enjoy having a day off from hearing about MAGA.