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July 4th, 2015

Dept. of Lovely Things

Oh Beautiful, For Spacious Skies

This country is a mess. We are a mess.
We are a fractious, miserable, small-minded people. We fight with each other, over stupid things. We cheat each other, for shameless reasons. We kill each other, for shameful - unforgivable - reasons.
We despoil our land and air and water, because it's easier to do that than to change our ways.
We eye other nations with suspicion and disdain, even as our power impacts those nations. 
We are, inescapably, a mess. 

But this country is also wonderful. We, as a people, are also wonderful.
We are wonderful for one simple reason. 
We hate being a mess. 
We fight ourselves, we battle our worst impulses.
We refuse to let our government screw up without at least trying to hold its collective feet to the fire.
We march in the street to say that black lives do matter.
We insist that anyone who chooses to marry in the eyes of the law have the lawful right to marry.
We fight in the courts so that women have the right to choose their reproductive destinies.
We reach out to each other, despite our fear of difference. We struggle past our fear of hijabs, yarmulkes, crosses, Darwin, you name it.
We look to other nations with curiosity, respect, a desire to help.
We try to clean up after ourselves.
We try to love each other as we love ourselves.

We fail much of the time. We despair.
But we don't give up. 

This country may be a mess, but it's one of the most beautiful messes it has ever been my honor to try to clean up. 

Happy 239th birthday. We'll try to do right by you. 
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