Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Susan McWilliams on Place and July 4th

Susan says some smart things about hard it is to be rooted in a particular, local place in America. For us, finding a place, like everything else, takes lots of work. Near the end of the article, though, she talks about July 4th in the bourgeois bohemian town of Claremont, CA. There were lots of activities, she and her husband marched in a parade to save some local field, and they came home all happy to feel like being part of a place. But there’s no mention of marching or celebrating America as a free, independent place. The parade I saw in Cave Spring, GA was all about the flag everywhere and anywhere, as well as about supporting our troops. I could go on to explain how the Cave Spring parade was both more local and more national than anything done in Claremont, but no time... I will say the parade began with a police car blaring the Lee Greenwood classic.

Discussions - 15 Comments

Susan says some smart things about hard it is to be rooted in a particular, local place in America. For us, finding a place, like everything else, takes lots of work.

Pete, you are obviously working out some personal issues when you beat this particular nag to death.

The parade I saw in Cave Spring, GA was all about the flag everywhere and anywhere

Everywhere and anyywhere? Really? I somehow doubt that the people in GA are quite as committed to the "universal America" as you are.

The 4th parade brings out the best in Claremont, even as some of the most dubious politically engage in it. There is a campy side to it--the precision lawnmower marching team, the thumb-twiddlers, etc. But the pols are there, to be applauded or booed, the local horse people, school reps, personalities, Susan's good cause, and so on.

I'm glad Susan and spouse are feeling at home in this unique college town. It sure beats New Brunswick!

Several years ago I was on a trip to Turkey with a group, and we wound up in a small town noted for nearby natural formations and early Christian churches dug out of rocky hillsides. At the hotel(whose rooms were dug out of such a rocky hillside) I saw a couple at breakfast who were also American. They said they were from California. I said I was too, from Claremont. They were too, it turned out; we lived just a mile or so apart.

Not such a great coincidence, when one thinks of it, but quite a good one nonetheless.

We spent the 4th of July visiting some friends in Cleveland. Although we missed the great celebration in Williamsburg, replete with the reading of the Declaration of Independence (the "reason for the season" you might say), we thoroughly enjoined ourselves. The dozens of kiddies in the neighborhood were bedecked in red, white, and blue on their persons and bikes, the fire engine appeared as promised and everyone clapped particularly loud for their service to the public, and the people proudly sang along with some patriotic music and waved their flags. The assembled citizenry were truly bi-partisan, celebrating the principles upon which this country was founded. That is what fundamentally unites us as Americans. I think the proudest was my friend's wife who came here for college and recently became a citizen, embracing those principles embodied in the golden apple of the Declaration and framed by the silver of the Constitution.

The people of GA, on the 4th, are probably more committed to universal America than I am. They're proud to be AMERICANS--at least they're living free.

the day is actualy Independence Day. I hope there is more celebration of the Declaration than their is mindless flag waving and fireworks staring. This might have been our last independence day with world government on the horizon. I guess calling it the 4th it can still go on.

I want to agree with you Brutus, but I still have shreds of hope that people are waking up and prefer to rule themselves than have an even larger federal state with massive spending increases and tax increases. That flag-waving may not seem like much, but I see it as a symbol that those ideals and ideas still mean a lot to them.

I do hope as well and I think that it will come to that point where people have to look in the mirror and decide what is worth fighting for once again. I just despise how the fourth is about fireworks, cookouts, and nascar and not about the declaration. Nothing against fireworks, cookouts or Nascar I happen to like two of the three. It would be too depressing I suppose to ask people about the content of the declaration, probably end up with as much wrath of kahn as you would actual concepts.

When I teach about paraphrase and summary, the project is to work up a summary and a paraphrase of the first two paragraphs of the Declaration. Of, course, I explain for an hour how to do this, following with a discussion of the Declaration for as long as anyone can stand it. This fell to my summer class just last night. That evening class being nearly three hours long and full of people who work all day, we used a set of the college's laptops in the room so they might try to finish the assignment before going home. Only a few did. Only a couple of them had ever read the document before, and that a long time ago. I encounter this every time; everyone has heard of the document, few have read it. "This is really hard. What does this mean?"

One woman, born in Croatia, who came here in the early 90's with her family escaping war, asked if I minded if she read a bit about the Declaration before doing the paraphrase. Did I mind? I wanted to give her that bit of Lincoln that Tony Williams cites, but did not have it at hand. I hope the woman finds something good.

The summaries and paraphrases finished last night are not very good. A couple of the summaries are all right. I am looking forward to the ones pondered and worked over that come in today. I even offered an extension till Monday for anyone who really wanted to work on the project. I always get a couple of well-thought pieces of work. The callow are what they are, and we suffer them. But this is my little blow for civic literacy and I love the project.

The people of GA, on the 4th, are probably more committed to universal America than I am. They're proud to be AMERICANS--at least they're living free.

I guarantee you that their notion of what it means to be AMERICANS does not jibe well with that of Harry Jaffa, Spengler, and the other Jewish cultists so admired round these parts.

People use the word "free" like they have some idea what they're talking about.

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John, your comment reflects your own "issues." It goes without saying that no one living in Cave Spring has heard of those people. But they're all for a naive and straightforward reading of the Declaration nonetheless.

John: Don't really understand the quirkyness of yours here? I have no idea what you mean when you call Harry Jaffa a Jewish cultist and do not understand your disdain for the people of GA?

I took the liberty of investigating his criptic comments (anything that hints of conspiracy for me....sigh). I think he is trying to link Jaffa to Kabbalah of Madonna and other celebrity fame. Web searches only turned up one half source stating this and the sorce appeared to be treating the divinci code as real history. It could be true, but I am not really finding anything in a brief search. There are web pages that include jaffa, straus and Kabbalah but I'm not that interested in this to dig through them. If you have anything more concrete John M., at least one person here would be somewhat interested.

Brutus: It appears as though John has buried his head in the sand, as he should.

Probably, It only really registered with me because some of the New world order earth worship neo pagan religion has links to the Kabbalah. Nothing against the beliefs of anyone, I was just curious to follow the though and find that even the world wide web has no one making these claims. Mabye he was implying somethong other than that, although I think calling what he said a simple anti-semetic remark is not really accurate. Now I am dying to know what he meant by 'jewish cultists.'

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