Happy 232nd Birthday, America

Happy Independence Day!

I don’t know about my OTB colleagues but I’ll be taking the rest of the day off, honoring the sacrifices made by the Founders by sitting around watching television, grilling and consuming meat products, and drinking beer with family and friends.

Some things to keep you occupied until my return:

  • Putting The Country First” – John McCain’s essay for Parade magazine.* A lot of highfalutin sentiment but the most important point is this: “Today, politics is derided for its self-interest, combativeness, duplicity, and triviality. But such failings are not unique to our age. Both Adams and Jefferson lamented them in their own time. But that’s the great beauty of our form of government, which they helped to create; it accounts for the vices of human nature as much as it hopes for our virtues.”
  • Declaration of Independence: A Fisking” – Two years ago, I published this tongue-in-cheek essay on the premise of reacting to the document as if I were there on that historic day greeted with the document for the first time. It still stands up pretty well, I think, at least if you’ve been reading blogs for a number of years and are familiar with the various tropes and rhetorical devices which have developed in the medium. A couple of the references, notably George III as “the decider,” will become obscured over time.

If you’ve got a 4th of July post at your place, feel free to send a trackback and link to it.


*I looked for a message from Barack Obama on his website and the only thing I found was a fundraising pitch titled “Donate to Declare Your Independence.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.