I hold these truths to be self-evident (even though I am on the wrong team)

I know that sometimes it’s very hard to love America.

I mean, sincerely. We have a war on women that’s putting us back to suffragette-times, and we have the government doing random nefarious things like listening to us telling our loved ones about our days (EVEN WHEN THEY’RE BORING, seriously, wouldn’t listening to these tapped calls be the WORST?), and we have so much religious shoutery you want to get earplugs permanently implanted, and we have so much insane hatred of the gay community it makes me want to attack someone with nunchucks and we have things like Twilight and Honey Boo Boo.

MERKA! We are the butt of INTERNATIONAL JOKERY! This is embarrassing, sincerely. People in other lands say things like “OMG, so happy I don’t live in America” and “WTH is happening in America” and “HA HA MERKA.”

Sigh.

Yes. America has problems. We yell a lot about a lot of things. We can’t seem to agree on ANYTHING. Everyone seems to really, really enjoy being angry. Like, ALL THE DAMN TIME. Just drive around a little, even if you’re in a good mood, and you’ll catch some good old American anger. I think we might hand it out to new citizens along with their certificates or something. “Here you go! ALL THE ANGER YOU WILL EVER NEED! WELCOME TO MERKA!” The haves are always yelling at the have nots for being lazy teat-suckers, and the have nots are trying REALLY HARD to make ends meet and ignore the yelling. And we’re not very trusting. And why should we be? Our government seems to be kind of like the villain in one those old cartoons that ties the ingenue to the train tracks. Snidely Whiplash. Our government, lately, is like Snidely Whiplash.

I’m more than willing to point out that the Emperor has come out of the palace in his birthday suit. Anyone who reads my blog is aware that I’m not all rah, rah America. Mostly because I like to call it Merka. And pick on it for doing very stupid things. And muse about how it might be nicer to go live in Finland, where they have Midsummer poles (which are most definitely a euphemism.)

However, I’ll tell you something that might surprise some of you.

I love the hell out of my country.

I think it is an amazing place. Sometimes I love it so much it makes me have tears. Sometimes I get so stupidly proud of this sprawling piece of dirt I get GOOSEBUMPS. I know. You’re totally shocked right now. Dad finds it amazing. “No one on the wrong team loves their country as much as you do,” he marvels on a regular basis. “I think there might be something wrong with you.”

(“The wrong team” = Democrats, in case that needed explanation.)

I believe, despite all the problems, America is an amazing place. It is a country full of potential, and beauty, and power, and majesty. It’s a country that, were it to live up to its potential, would be so good. So FINE. A country that other countries could look up to and a country that we could be proud to live in ALL the time, not just some of the time, not just when we get it right, but ALL the time.

Dad says we’re not allowed to say “Happy Fourth of July” today because that’s liberal propaganda. “If you say ‘Happy Fourth of July,” Dad said, because Fox News told him to, “you are shitting on everything our forefathers worked so hard for. It’s not just a DAY. It is INDEPENDENCE DAY.”

“What if I say Happy Birthday Merka?” I asked.

Dad grumbled. “I don’t know. The Real News didn’t say what to do if someone called it America’s Birthday.”

“Because that’s what I like to say. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERKA! Because you know what everyone likes. BIRTHDAYS!”

Dad grumbled some more. “Well, it’s really Independence Day. That’s what The Real News says.”

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MERKAAAAAAAA! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUU!”

“You’re insane.”

“I love birthdays. Also Merka.”

“Fine. Just remember it’s also Independence Day. And don’t bake America a cake because I don’t think America has a mouth.”

“It DOES. Probably the mouth would be the Grand Canyon. I could throw the cake in the Grand Canyon.”

“You. Are. Insane.”

Happy birthday, America.

Happy birthday to the country that brings us Wendy Davis, who knew what was right, and wasn’t afraid to stand up for it, even though the amount of hatred for her in that room would have scared away almost anyone else in the world.

Happy birthday to the country that brought us E. E. Cummings.

Happy birthday to the country that was founded on giving us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Happy birthday to the country that brought us Katelyn Campbell, who said, “you know what? I might be only a high school senior, but this abstinence-only education is factually incorrect, and I’m going to protest it” even though the school’s principal threatened to make sure she wouldn’t get accepted to college if she did so.

(P.S. - it didn't work. Kick some ass at Wellesley, Kate.)

(P.S. – It didn’t work. Kick some ass at Wellesley, Katelyn.)

Happy birthday to the country that brought us Edward Hopper, who understood what it was to be very, very alone.

Happy birthday to the country that was founded by a bunch of rebellious yahoos who wanted things to be better than where they came from (and who, I’m quite sure, would be horrified with what we’ve done with what they left us; they would, very likely, tell us we’re the reason we can’t have nice things.)

Rebellious yahoos with really humorous hair.

Rebellious yahoos with really humorous hair.

Happy birthday to the country that brought us Rosa Parks, who’d just had enough, and who just wanted to sit the hell down, and didn’t want to have to walk all the way to the back of the bus to do it;

Alice Paul, who asked Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty, even when they put her in jail, even when they force-fed her when she wouldn’t eat, even when it seemed everyone had turned against her;

and Harriet Tubman, who risked her life time and time again to bring others to freedom.

Happy birthday to the country that has beautiful large things…

…and beautiful small things…

…and things that are ridiculous, and wonderful, and beautiful just because they exist, and are filled with whimsy.

Happy birthday to the country that allows me to be as loud as I want, and as wild as I want, and to speak up against what it’s doing…and not go to jail for it, because for all of our faults, we do still have free speech here. We have the Bill of Rights. Which, when I read it, when I read it out loud, I weep. Because it’s beautiful. There are all different types of poetry. The first amendment of the Bill of Rights?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That’s poetry. That’s a group of people who’d had enough, who didn’t want anyone after them to go through what they’d been through; enough so that they made it one of our inalienable rights as Americans.

Happy birthday, and happy independence, Merka. I love you, even though you frustrate me. You’re like a beloved child; no matter how angry I get at you, no matter how much you upset me, no matter HOW MUCH I disagree with your choices, I still love you. I love you furiously. I love you so much it makes me crazy. I love you so much I’d defend you with my life. I love you so damn much I want the absolute best for you.

You are my country, and sometimes you’re a big old weirdo, and yet I still adore you.

(Even though right now I think you’re in that awkward adolescent phase where you’re smoking too much pot and drinking too much and sleeping with questionable partners who are just bound to give you the herp.)

Happy Independence Day, my fellow Merkans. Give your country a hug today, yeah? It’s trying really hard not to be a jerk, sometimes. There’s still some of that glory in there. There’s still wonder. There’s still beauty. There’s still magic.

You just have to look a little harder to find it.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

37 responses to “I hold these truths to be self-evident (even though I am on the wrong team)

  • poetlandia

    You and I are both on the wrong team and both love this country fiercely.

    The good news is, we’ve caused a hellovalota unicorn births.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      So many unicorns running around due to us! That’s the best news all day!

      It’s a great team, isn’t it? I’m proud to be a member. I have a bumper sticker and everything. I don’t have it on the car, but I HAVE one.

      (However, if Hillary runs for president, I might break down and put one on the car…because it’s Hillary!)

      Like

  • emmawolf

    You’ve expressed so much of my feelings.

    “I love you, even though you frustrate me. You’re like a beloved child; no matter how angry I get at you, no matter how much you upset me, no matter HOW MUCH I disagree with your choices, I still love you. I love you furiously. I love you so much it makes me crazy. I love you so much I’d defend you with my life. I love you so damn much I want the absolute best for you.”

    I’ve made a similar analogy before. I sometimes feel like “the wrong team” loves this country like a parent loves a child: we recognize it can do wrong and we need to teach and correct it. And sometimes I feel “the right team” loves this country like a young child loves a parent: in its eyes, the parent can do no wrong.

    And it really frustrates me that people feel like the right team has a monopoly on patriotism. This is my husband’s first Independence Day as a US citizen. He asked me if he thought we should put up our flag (our more conservative family members bought him a nice flag after he became a citizen). He ultimately decided against it because he didn’t want our neighbors to make assumptions about his political beliefs. It made me really sad. (I told him we could put it up with an Obama lawn sign, but he still didn’t go for it. Maybe it was one part laziness too.)

    Anyway, happy fourth!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Aw, that makes me sad! The flag belongs to everyone, not just those on the “right” team! I’m going to buy your husband a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. Then he can fly it proudly. Because I like that one. Any flag with an animal on it’s ok by me! (Plus it’ll confuse the hell out of the conservatives. They can’t COMPLAIN – it’s a FLAG – but what kind of flag is this? IS THIS PERSON A COMMIE OR WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?)

      Happy fourth to you! And happy first official fourth to your husband! How exciting!

      Like

  • A Pope

    I love how you put this–it was beautifully said and I am teary-eyed.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! I always wonder what I’m going to say about America every year that I haven’t already said. When I make myself cry writing a post, I figure I did ok.

      Like

  • Ashley Austrew

    Best INDEPENDENCE DAY (because the real news says so) post ever. I’m on the wrong team, too, but that’s okay. We only have teams and fight and yell because we love and care about this place so much.

    Like

  • franhunne4u

    And right you are to love your country. You live there, you have to cope with some flaws, all that keeps you from leaving and by that becoming homeless is – LOVE. LOVE makes you forgive imperfections. Not only with humans.

    Like

  • David Jón Fuller

    Very well said! God bless Merka!
    Still can’t get my head around the patriotism/wrong team idea. Gah!
    Since I’m not American, I can say it: HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! And INDEPENDENCE DAY, even though Canada was having none of that for another 90 years. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MERKA!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Oh, I’m cool with being on the wrong team. I like to root for the underdogs whenever I’m given a chance to do so, anyway. It makes winning all that much sweeter when you’re on a team everyone’s counted out and a WHOLE SHOUTY NETWORK hates.

      Like

  • sj

    Amy,

    I’ve lost track of how many times you’ve made me cry this week. I didn’t think you’d be able to top last year’s post, but YOU DID.

    Thank you for reminding me that we’re not the worst, just a little misguided.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It’s been a weird week, blog-wise. I’d better find something humorous to blog about next week or someone’ll think I lost my funnybone in a very sad bulldozer accident.

      Merka’s trying really hard. And has some amazing people in it who want it to stop being a big weird weirdo. We just have to be louder than the ones who are MAKING it a big weird weirdo. (Luckily, I’m super-loud.)

      Like

  • mfennvt

    Happy Birthday, Merka! Great post, Amy. You had me all weepy until “the herp.” Now I’m all giggly. And still a little weepy. Well played, you.

    To quote Ms DiFranco:

    “i love my country
    by which i mean
    i am indebted joyfully
    to all the people throughout its history
    who have fought the government to make right
    where so many cunning sons and daughters
    our foremothers and forefathers
    came singing through slaughter
    came through hell and high water
    so that we could stand here
    and behold breathlessly the sight
    how a raging river of tears
    cut a grand canyon of light”

    Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Happy birthday, United States of America!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I talked to Merka today and it says to tell you thank you for your wishes, but where’s its present? It asked for a skateboard. It’s really sad you didn’t get it the skateboard it wanted.

      Like

  • scottmac56

    Reblogged this on Name-Brand Ketchup. and commented:
    From Amy at “Lucy’s Football:”
    Happy birthday, and happy independence, Merka. I love you, even though you frustrate me. You’re like a beloved child; no matter how angry I get at you, no matter how much you upset me, no matter HOW MUCH I disagree with your choices, I still love you. I love you furiously. I love you so much it makes me crazy. I love you so much I’d defend you with my life. I love you so damn much I want the absolute best for you.

    You are my country, and sometimes you’re a big old weirdo, and yet I still adore you.

    Like

  • Awesome thoughts for The Fourth of July | Name-Brand Ketchup.

    […] from Amy’s awesome blog “Lucy’s Football”: […]

    Like

  • ravinj

    This was awesome. There’s this quote (don’t remember who of): “Our country, right or wong. If right, to keep right, if wrong, to MAKE right.” And those dudes with the funny hair knew what they set up wasn’t perfect. That’s why they made it fixable. Good thing planned obsolescence wasn’t a thing back then!

    Like

  • Nerija S.

    Aww, Amy, you almost made me cry again! :-)

    Seriously, now people are getting all upset about saying “Happy 4th of July” instead of “Happy Independence Day”? I’m getting a strong feeling of deja-don’t-say-Merry-Christmas…

    Oh, Merka.

    P.S. OMG WHERE ARE THOSE WHIMSICAL SCULPTURE THINGS THOSE ARE AWESOME!!!

    Like

  • Corvidae in the Fields

    Throw a birthday cake into the Grand Canyon! Do it! Do it!

    Like

  • Madame Weebles

    ****STANDING OVATION****

    Like

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