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The Fourth of July 2019

It is the 4th of July, a holiday where the citizens of the USA show how proud they are to live in the free and home of the brave with cookouts, over the top flag outfits and fireworks.

But for me, this was the worst 4th of July I’ve ever had. I spent the evening watching two movies which take place at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – The Lost Boys and Us – as well as trying to figure out the right code to connect my Doorbird with Google Home Hub through Home Assistant.

So why was I so down? I think the main reason is I’m one of the very few who see things as they are and not what we want them to be or what the propaganda news channels tell us. I see the decay of America as we know it but yet everyone around me has been given a circus and are mindlessly celebrating. It is as though we’ve hit the ice burg but nobody cares and are dancing, getting drunk and applauding the current captain as he calls the ice burg fake news.

Let’s get a bit more specific. We have a President who even many of my friends who support him acknowledge he can be an idiot. For them, they like that he actually does what he says he is going to do unlike the norm for US politicians. You say anything to get into office and then backtrack on most of what was promised. Therefore, they’re willing to look past his character and refuse to see that we’re not on a good path so long as they get what they want in the short term.

My question for them is to ask if they think he is a good President to which they would say ‘yes.’ Then ask them if he is someone they’d like their own sons to be like and their daughters to marry. To this they would be lying if the smart ones said yes but given the mental capacity of most of them they would probably say yes and mean it.

So what are his faults off the top of my head? Our planet is experiencing the hottest temperatures ever recorded but he is a climate change denier and his policies support this. He refused to do anything about the Khashoggi murder. There goes our moral standing and belief that we always do what is right. For America, it is no longer about what is morally right but what is good for business. America is much more of a business than a country which I’ve written about in my previous post. Trump calls people ‘rats,’ and ‘losers,’ which is not how a President is supposed to behave. He cozies up to dictators and has openly admitted his admiration for them.

So in short, everything that I was brought up to believe America is, such as a global leader setting by example, the good guys, ‘exceptional’ has turned out to be blatantly false. Our ideal espoused by Superman has been switched for a narcissistic, porn star banging con man and half of the citizens wildly cheer it on, even the preachers who should know better. It feels as though I’m living through a bad dream.

It also doesn’t help that I’m watching Ken Burn’s documentary on Vietnam. The leadership openly lied their way through the entire war. We invaded a country on the premise that we’re “stopping Communism” and sent so many to go die while killing massive amounts of people of another country. I had expected the leadership and military figures to be smarter. If they were the CEO of a company who had a similar catastrophe the CEO would have been quickly fired. But no, there weren’t any consequences for those that made the terrible decisions and things went on as usual.

But that is all in the past right? Well, no it isn’t. The Vietnamese people still suffer from the effects of all the chemicals that were dumped and the USA has never apologized or try to help. When I was there I saw the deformities first hand and it broke my heart. I had a friends Dad die of cancer that was absolutely brought on by exposure to these chemicals and the damage we caused our own troops in this way has also been swept under the rug.

And the kicker is that we’re now friends with Vietnam. I was there from 2004-2006 and the American Navy docked there for the first time since the war. I remember sitting at a bar and saw American sailors which hadn’t been seen in Vietnam since the war. This was a huge event! They must have been on strict orders to not drink or cause any trouble as I was in a bar but they did not enter and instead just sat outside on some chairs. Yes, we had a horrific war and now we are friends. Tell that to the 55,200 men who died fighting the war. Tell that to the millions of Vietnamese who died. Times change, sorry you died, but oh well, let’s not acknowledge the elephant in the room and go about our 4th of July celebrations. To add insult to injury let’s play “Born in the USA” which is a criticism of the the war. As Wikipedia states, ” Although a superficial listener might think the song a flag-waving paean to America, the song is actually a wry and somewhat caustic commentary on the hypocrisy of patriotism.”

Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man….

I had a brother at Khe Sanh fighting off the Viet Cong
They’re still there, he’s all gone
He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now

But the war is now about 50 years old, so this is old stuff and we’re different now right? Well, no! Let’s talk about Iraq. The leadership told us that the main justification for the war was to stop their ‘weapons of mass destruction.” Where there any weapons of mass destruction? Of course not. Again, I would have expected the hundreds or even thousand of experts, analysts, spies and so on to actually know this answer before the USA started a war, could it be they were all just wrong? Now their in a bind because if they knew the truth but couldn’t do anything about it it makes what they do useless. If they didn’t know then it makes them even more useless.

But this is America, so it really doesn’t matter, the truth doesn’t matter. Just give everyone a holiday, ignore what America actually does and set off your fireworks, drink your beer and revel in willful ignorance.

This is the land of the free and home of the brave! Most countries I’ve been too are ‘free’ but by all means just shout “freedom” as a pass for all of the terrible things America has done and continues to do. Ignore that America forcefully put that ‘brave’ on a reservation after reneging on the countless treaties made with his people. America doesn’t keep its promises but the Native Americans didn’t know that.

So I sat there on the 4th of July hearing the fireworks as I didn’t have a choice. There were so many explosions and what are these fireworks meant to be? Well, they are a representation of actual bombs that our treasonous forefathers used against their King and country because they didn’t want to pay their taxes. It is so laughably absurd that a holiday whose main purpose is to celebrate patriotism is based on an event that was the opposite of being patriotic to your country.

But this is America. You can ignore the truth, believe it to be fake news or simply not be smart enough to know any better. Drink Budweiser, grill out, cheer whatever slogan the President says and participate in the circus. Cheers to the next war and if you die based on a lie not to worry, a vast majority will ignore it and celebrate to their hearts content on the next 4th of July. And as for Memorial Day? The vast majority of Americans will use that holiday as a reason to celebrate as well but without the fireworks.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! (^.^)/