Happy 235th birthday, America!
Harvard University published a report last week on a study regarding the politics of the Fourth of July. The results aren't very startling, really. It starts off by confirming that republicans tend to be more patriotic than democrats. This shouldn't be a revelation to anyone - after all, democrats are the party that vowed, just two short years ago, to fundamentally transform America. We won't even get into the apology tour some on the left felt was required to atone for America's first world superpower status and overall general awesomeness. The point is, if you love something, you love it for what it is, where it came from and where it's going. You don't dismantle it to build something else in it's place.
The study went on to show that children who are, shall we say, 'exposed' to Independence Day celebrations and parades have a higher chance of growing up into patriotic Americans, and even *gasp* republicans (via the Huffington Post):
According to their research, attending one rain-free July 4 celebration before the age of 18 increases the likelihood that children will identify as Republican by two percent and increases the likelihood that they will vote for a Republican candidate by the time they turn 40 by four percent. It also increases the likelihood that young attendees will vote in elections by 0.9 percent and boosts the chances that they'll make political campaign contributions by three percent, the study claims.But wait, there's more:
The study finds no evidence that attending July 4 celebrations results in an increased likelihood of identifying as a Democrat.
Move over, Christmas - when do you think the 'War on Independence Day' will begin?
This study is no surprise. It is nearly impossible to hear the story of our founding, the men and ideas that joined together to create something bigger than themselves - something truly great - and not fall in love with this country.
The sorry state of our schools is a frequent topic of discussion on this blog. A recent study that shows our children are aggregiously underserved when it comes to American History and civics education in our public schools. Whatever the reason for the deficit, the Harvard study shows us that we have a way to alleviate it on a grassroots level. The underlying point of the study, at least to me, isn't the creation of republicans, it's the creation of future patriotic citizens, whatever their political stripe. ].
So take your kids to a parade today. Pack a picnic and find a good place to watch fireworks. And while you're waiting for the festivities to begin, talk to your kids about the meaning of the day. It isn't just about BBQ and sparklers, it's about the birth of a nation. It's about brave men of principle standing up to the status quo (and risking their lives to do so) in a quest for something better for all. Stir their patriotic souls and help them fall in love with this great country. It will stay with them for a lifetime.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.
Happy 235th birthday, America!