Sadly, even something like 4th of July celebrations have become politicized. According to Harvard University, if you bring your child to 4th of July parades there’s a greater chance they’ll become a Republican when they grow up. Apparently, festivities on the 4th don’t do anything to help Democrats politically.
Here is the study from Harvard University. We’ll summarize the high points below:
Our estimates are significant: one Fourth of July without rain before age 18 raises the likelihood of identifying as a Republican by 2 percent and voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent. It also increases voter turnout by 0.9 percent and boosts political campaign contributions by 3 percent.
There is no evidence of an increased likelihood of identifying as a Democrat, indicating that Fourth of July shifts preferences to the right rather than increasing political polarization.
Alternatively, Fourth of July is a day that provides a context for the celebration of an American civil religion organized around flags, parades, and the Constitution. While these values need not be partisan, there is a literature showing that the political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century.
What Liberals will respond with is that bringing your child to the local July 4th parade is just brainwashing them and only showing them the “good side” of the United States. Liberals will say if these people want to really be patriotic they should volunteer at soup kitchens or pay more money in taxes to help the poor.
While it’s unfortunate that everything is political in today’s world, the study is probably not too far off from the truth that those people who celebrate the birth of our country cherish being a part of it.
Growing up in Washington D.C. we would drive up Wisconsin Avenue past the Washington Cathedral where I was Christened and get fried chicken, biscuits, and Cokes at Roy Rogers before catching the Metro down to the Mall. If you got there early enough, you could grab a place on the steps of the Capitol and bake under the sun while eating your late lunch. You could walk down to the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial and dip your feet in the water to cool down. When you got back to your place on the steps there was music and, finally, fireworks.
When I was home for the Summer I made the trek to the Mall. Now, since 9-11, picnic baskets, glass bottles, and other things are banned from there.
In San Francisco, most years it is so foggy you can’t see any fireworks so I don’t even bother anymore. Instead, I watch the show from our Nation’s capital on television. Once a Washingtonian always a Washingtonian I guess.
But it wasn’t about indoctrinating myself… it was about spending time with a group of thousands of people who had one thing in common: we cherished our freedom.
We leave you with words from one of our favorite presidents… Calvin Coolidge. This speech was delivered on July 5, 1926:
No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.