At the top of the list of Independence Day killjoys is Salon.com. No one is shocked. On Friday, they posted an article titled “I hate the Fourth of July: The Fourth once reminded us to ensure that all men are created equal. Here's what it's become now.” No wonder they're doing Twitter satire at @salondotcom. Just imagine a conservative site laying an "I hate Martin Luther King Day" egg on that stop of the calendar.
As usual, the Left thinks the Founders were all about establishing the redistribution of wealth, not liberty for all. Jonathan Zimmerman began typically with how America failed to live up to its promise for so many years....and still falls far short. Then it really grew depressing about fireworks injuries:
Between 1903 and 1908, 1,300 Americans died in injuries from holiday firecrackers, bombs and guns. Indeed, one medical journal reported that more Americans were killed or injured on July 4 of 1909 than at the Battle of Bunker Hill, during the Revolution itself.
These developments spawned the “Safe and Sane Fourth of July” movement, which pressed for restrictions on fireworks sales. It also promoted municipal fireworks displays and other kinds of official celebrations, including parades and sporting competitions.
But thousands of Americans are still burned or maimed by fireworks during the month surrounding the Fourth of July, which accounts for over half of the country’s annual fireworks-related injuries. In response, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has conducted an admirable public information campaign to raise awareness about these dangers. But I also worry that fireworks and other holiday rituals have blinded us to the political meaning of July 4, which should be a time for reflection as well as for revelry.
Consider that 42 percent of American men born into the bottom fifth of incomes stay there as adults, and that just 8 percent of them rise to the top fifth. Or that only 9 percent of children in our bottom quartile get a college education, while 80 percent of those in the top quartile do.
Yes, we’ve made strides in racial and gender equality. But in class terms, our society has grown steadily less equal since the 1970s. How can a country dedicated to the principles of the Declaration of Independence abide by that?
Zimmerman sounds like Chris Matthews, that the Revolution wasn't about freedom or taxation without representation. It was about equality of incomes and outcomes, in not equality of effort. He ended with the traditional liberal “let’s not do any exceptionalist bragging” closer:
In an 1854 Fourth of July address, abolitionist Wendell Phillips noted that the Founding Fathers had declared independence for some Americans, but not for others. “It becomes us to take one step further than they dared to take,” Phillips wrote.
He was right. So this Friday, as we eat and drink and make merry, let’s also resolve to make our country a more just, fair and equitable place. That would revive our best Fourth of July tradition: the one that doesn’t boast or brag, but reminds us how much further we have to go.