George V. Reilly

Independence Day

Seattle Fireworks

I have an ambivalent relation to the notion of patriotism because all too often those who most loudly proclaim themselves to be patriots are the worst sort of jingoistic, know-nothing, blowhard­s—be they Trump supporters, Brexiters, or Irish na­tion­al­ists.

And yet, for all the flaws and failures of the American Experiment, there are still things to celebrate. America’s optimism and can-do spirit, although much abraded in recent years, is still exemplary. Millions continue to flock here, drawn to the land of op­por­tu­ni­ty. The Founding Fathers created a great and lasting democracy, albeit with a franchise and a set of rights that had to be widened several times. The world can’t get enough of America’s technology and movies and clothes.

Let me close with John Cena’s video, We are America.

Happy 240th birthday, United States of America!

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