I Cannot Honor My Country This July 4th

By: Josh Cameron  |  Our Voice Contributor

In just a few days it will be July 4th. A day I am expected to celebrate, especially since I am a combat veteran. Since I served my country, it is expected that I should always honor that country, regardless of its actions and if it is deserving of the honor.

I have a five year old little boy. I love him to death and would do anything for him. This is why I correct him when I see something I don’t like in his behavior, whether it be him being selfish, rude, obnoxious or overtly pouty. If you are a parent you know exactly what I’m talking about. You love your kid so you want them to succeed. They don’t have the inherent tools to succeed, so they need to be led along the way.

Why is honoring my country any different?

Why is it so unreasonable to think that because I have harsh words for my country I don’t love it? If you raise a kid to think they can do no wrong, they will grow up thinking they can do no wrong. I’m sure we have all dealt with this type of arrogance in some part of our lives. It is never fun and always intensely frustrating.

So why would we want this for our country?

Those who feel that our country is good the way it is and needs no encouragement to be better are doing us all a disservice. Anyone who says, “if you don’t like the country then you can leave,” is a terrible American.

You don’t agree?

Lets put this into the perspective of a child instead of a country. If I don’t love my child’s behavior then I should just leave them and let them find other parents. Sounds pretty flagrantly stupid huh? That’s what it sounds to me anytime someone tells me or someone I know to just leave if they “don’t love this country”.

How undemocratic can you be?

America, right or wrong, was built upon dissent, protest, and different views. Perhaps not a diversity of views since it was just white men, but still built upon different views culminating to acceptable legislation.

Why are people so afraid of a difference in opinion?

Often, I see Republicans say they can’t be friends with liberals and Democrats saying the same thing about conservatives. If you can’t be friends with who disagrees with you, grow the hell up. You don’t need to agree with someone politically to engage in conversation and enjoy their fellowship and collective humanity.

So again, in just a few days it will be July 4th. I see a country that locks children up in cages while simultaneously saying “praise be to God.” I see a country that bombs poor black and brown people in different countries in order to steal their natural resources, then call them s-hole countries, even though we made the s-hole in the first place. A country that says all men are created equal while having two sets of judiciary rules for white people and people of color.

Because of this, I cannot honor the 4th of July. Because of this I cannot take pride in this country. I have fought in multiple war zones. One for a humanitarian mission, one during active war. I have served my country more than most people ever try. I have run for political office and I am again, local school board (Utah Granite District 6), because my country has called upon me again. I believe this country can be great, but pretending that is done with the stock market and not living wages is absurd.

 

To assume that massively increased production, as 82% of new income goes to the top 1%, is good for this country – is absurd. To assume that a bank, that profits off war, profits off wealth and income inequality, that profits off racial redlining, is a good source of campaign donations (Schumer, Pelosi, Clinton) – is absurd. Yet liberals think the Democratic party is the bastion of human rights. Their donors don’t think so – or at least they don’t act in a manner congruent with this idea.

Why is it even necessary to have this conversation?

Why is it even necessary to tell grown adults that fighting for a better future is not me hating on my country, but me loving my country enough to push it to greatness? Much like with my son. Why do people feel the need to watch and listen to CNN, Fox “News”, MSNBC, The Blaze, hear their propaganda and need to believe it without challenge?

 

How does lack of critical thinking make your life better?

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