2016: The Fourth of July just ain’t what it used to be

Here it is the Fourth of July, the day we celebrate our nation’s independence, achieved nearly 250 years ago. How come I don’t feel like celebrating?

A real American patriot. Image taken from a photographic portrait of John Philip Sousa by Elmer Chickering. (Public domain image, original is held by the U.S. Library of Congress.)

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, July 4, 2016 – Here it is the Fourth of July, the day we celebrate our nation’s independence, achieved nearly 250 years ago. How come I don’t feel like celebrating?

Remember when you were a child and hot dogs and fireworks and homemade ice cream and baseball doubleheaders were all part of the package? What happened?

Somewhere along the line the great American express ran off the tracks.

Today instead of fireworks we get suicide bombers anywhere and everywhere in the world ready to kill themselves and as many others as possible. If they get a few Muslims along the way, so be it. It’s just collateral damage. The main thing is that more non-believers die than believers.

Independence Day and Ramadan: A perfect storm?

Today instead of hot dogs the United States eats crow on a regular basis. We apologize for virtually everything we have done throughout our history. Has Germany ever apologized for Hitler? Does Russia apologize whenever Vladimir Putin oversteps his bounds?

Yet in America we apologize to Native Americans for bringing diseases from Europe and taking their land, we fret over the name Washington Redskins, we beg Japan to forgive us for dropping the bomb, we bow to Saudi Arabian princes and on and on.

Somehow that hot dog just doesn’t taste the same. Somehow those fireworks aren’t as much fun as they used to be.

Instead we watch as people die by being hacked to death in Bangladesh, or bombed into Kibbles and Bits in Istanbul or massacred at a night club in Orlando, all while our president refuses to admit there is a problem.

Barack Obama may address the American people on his last Fourth of July in office. But then again, he is just as likely to say, “Screw them, where are my golf clubs?”

Even if he does say something, you can be sure it will be condescending. We will be scolded for wanting to celebrate the greatest governmental experiment in the history of the world. The president loves nothing better than to scold his American “children.”

In a June 13 column in “Fortune.com,” Bruce Weinstein defended the president with a ridiculous statement that the American people could not distinguish “between the radical factions of Islam and its peaceful majority.”


Unfortunately, Mr. Weinstein, the American people CAN and DO make that distinction. The person who cannot get it through his thought process, or better yet, will not, is the very person you are defending.

Thank you, Pamela Geller of “Atlas Shrugs,” for saying “Radical Islam is Islam.” That’s it in a nutshell. Nothing more needs to be said.

Renewing American ideals this Independence Day

How many more people have to die before Barack Obama leaves office so that we can get on with a realistic program of doing something positive about the metastasizing cancer of Islam?

Obama says, “We are and never will be at war with Islam.” Meanwhile, Islam is clearly at war with us. Every minute of every day. ISIS doesn’t just hate Americans. They hate everybody, including Muslims, if they do not regard them—ISIS—as true believers.

It isn’t any more complicated than that. But we continue to wring our hands and use empty rhetoric to make ourselves feel better. We hold candlelight vigils and hold hands and sing songs like “Amazing Grace” and we accomplish nothing. Nothing.

As Pamela Geller points out, “Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them. That day has arrived.”

In fact, that day arrived a long time ago. Maybe that’s why the hot dogs don’t taste the same and the fireworks seem somehow dimmer.

I long for the days when a march by John Phillip Sousa could make the entire Fourth of July just seem right.


Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe

Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News

Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod

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