At the risk of attracting a whole lot of hate, I’m going to put something out there: It feels wrong to be celebrating America right now.
I’ve never been someone who goes full-on Betsy Ross during the month of July, but usually the sight of red, white and blue on every corner doesn’t give me a wicked case of the stress shits.
But lately, oh boy. Thinking about celebrating America just feels wrong.
If the definition of patriotism is “having or expressing devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country,” under normal circumstances, I could get behind that. I’d express all kinds of devotion to a country that supported the people who lived there, regardless of their race, color, gender, creed, and economic class. I’d vigorously support somewhere that didn’t turn a blind eye to the environment, or to people who needed medical treatment, or refuge (to say the least).
But right now? I’ve got about as much desire to show devotion and support for the current administration (notice I didn’t say country) as I do toward taking a bath in a tub of maggots.
Now this is where it gets complicated, as even though the current administration is the face of our nation, it is NOT representative of our whole country.
I like to think of it as an ugly bruise on an apple, or an ill-fitting lid on a can of tuna. You wouldn’t throw away the whole apple, just because it has a bruised spot, or an entire can of tuna just because the lid pops. That ain’t right! (J/K, throw that can o’ danger out STAT #botulism #youmightdie).
Prior to Trumpy and his Band of Misfits, America accomplished some pretty rad things, and seemed to be on track for continuing its progression into awesomeness. Things like healthcare, and equality and the environment were looked at with the same importance as making rich people richer, or at least it seemed that way to my admittedly privileged, white, middle-class self. I mean, my birth control was free! Go America, right?!
And then Trump came and shat in the soup, and now I don’t want to celebrate, or even admit I am American, though my pale skin and inability to speak another language might give that away.
But here’s the thing; America is so much more than this bullshit administration.
And even more, Trump and his bullshit administration have given me something to celebrate about this country, and it’s pretty amazing.
America was founded by a bunch of people who were like “Dude, you’re cramping my style so I’m going to GTFO and do my own thing.” And those same kinds of people still live here. They start things like Alt National Parks, and Alt NASA. They march for women, and for equality, and for LGBTQ rights, and for science. They donate to foundations that help people who need it most. They pay for school lunches when the system is so broken, kids might not get to eat. They believe Black Lives Matter, and that we need to #SayHerName.
Yes, America is filled with badasses who love and care and work and fight tirelessly to ensure the American dream still exists for anyone interested in pursuing it. They just don’t happen to be at the head of the ship.
So yeah, the thought of celebrating America might feel weird, but only if you judge America by its cover. When the flags are flying, and the hotdogs are burning, I’m going to raise a cold one to the Americans who represent a country I’m proud to call home, because of them. Though if any of ‘em wake my sleeping baby, I’ll cut a bitch.
(This post originally ran on Hold Me, Don’t Hold Me)