this land is your land; this land is my land

Happy 4th of July, everyone.

Remember that this country was founded on a tradition of fucking with the police. Sure, the early American colonies defeated the largest extant empire at the time with the aid of another huge empire, but nobody knew for sure that that help would come. The signers of the Declaration of Independence took the chance that they might all hang for what they did.

Real change doesn’t come from the voting booth, the ballot box, the referendum or the petition. It comes from taking a full-pressure fire hose to the chest. It starts with sniping at the King’s soldiers as they march toward your house. It ends with either your death, your exile or your gradual disillusionment as you watch your comrades repeat the same mistakes that inspired your revolt in the first place.

Today is the one time all year when I will talk about America without ending on a skeptical note. As I’ve mentioned before, the word “America” means more than one thing. America means more than just a particular territory or a particular government. It also means a shared set of historical and cultural ideals. It means that fictional, idealized wonderland of liberty and justice, that “eternal thought in the mind of God.”

It’s to that ideal that I raise a glass today. I won’t drink to any man to ever hold the title of Commander-in-Chief, or to any country that America invaded without cause. But I will drink to the dream.

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