P.J. O’Rourke: 27 Reasons To Ban July 4
Let’s just drop the chauvinistic holiday says the conservative writer, P.J. O’Rourke. He’s got some good reasons, too. Here are just some of those reasons:
1. The 4th of July has been reactionary, chauvinistic, and out-of-date since 1776.
On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his partner Abigail about the “reaction” of the thirteen American colonies to British rule, saying, “I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations… It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
By white males privileged by European descent, social status, income disparity, and lobbying influence in the Continental Congress. What about oppressed people of color, Native Americans, undocumented Hessian immigrants, displaced victims of British subject ethnic cleansing, workers earning less than the income necessary to meet their basic needs under minimum wage laws that didn’t exist yet, and women? Women did not have the vote….
4. “solemnized” “from this time forward forever more”
Religious subtext in the Declaration of Independence. This violates First Amendment guarantees of separation of church and state or would when the Constitution got written.
5&6. “pomp and parade”
Read “elitism” and “militarism.”
America is in urgent need of more stringent gun control laws, as the British discovered at Lexington and Concord. Guns kill almost as many people each year as drug overdoses, and John Adams didn’t even bother to mention inadequate treatment facilities for drug dependence in his letter to Abigail…
16. The 4th of July is customarily marked by charcoal “cook-outs,” which endanger the community.
Burning charcoal generates hydrocarbons, particulate air pollution, wildfires, and carbon footprints…
23. Children must be protected from fireworks injuries.
Fireworks injure 8,700 Americans a year. Fireworks are set off on the 4th of July…
27. And the 4th of July is on the wrong day.
The Continental Congress declared independence from Britain on July 2nd. The 4th was simply when the Continental Congress approved the final wording of its independence declaration. If the 4th of July were the 2nd of July, it would have been on Wednesday this year. We could have taken a couple of days of family leave (which Washington prevents U.S. corporations from being required to provide) on either side of Wednesday and had a whole damn week go to parades, play backyard softball games, fire guns, ring bells, light bonfires, grill cheeseburgers, drink beer, and blow our fingers off with M-80s.