Fireworks have been sporadically going off in the alley since sunset yesterday, and the smell of propane from the neighbors’ grills has been wafting into my apartment since noon, which means that it must be the Fourth of July. Just about everyone gets patriotic today. Even people who disapprove of our country’s presence abroad or handling of domestic affairs can be spotted hanging out at barbecues, waving flags, and watching fireworks displays. However, few of these people seem to think about what it means to have national pride. It seems to be the same as yelling out, “Hey! I happen to be from here, so this is the best country in the world!”
Americans are often singled out and accused of being boorish when they say they are proud to be American, but almost every nationality and ethnic group is guilty of this behavior as well. You are part of a particular group, so you think that group is the best, right? Sorry to be a party pooper, but perhaps that sort of energy should be redirected into something constructive.