For most Americans, the 4th of July is nothing more than an excuse to barbecue with family and watch fireworks. For the especially patriotic ones, it’s an opportunity to remember the price the Founders paid to buy us our freedom. However, for others, July 4th has become an inopportune occasion for ripping on the “problematic” and even “evil” parts of our history. To these people, Independence Day is not about celebrating America at all but about blasting her.

Looking out over the vast spectrum of American leftism (only 29 percent of Democrats say they are “extremely proud” to be Americans, compared to 60 percent of Republicans), it’s evident that they lack a single, shared reason why they hate America—they just do. For the most part, however, their protests center ostensibly around race-based issues; supposedly, the United States has a much worse race history than anyone else in the world.

Of course, no one ever said America was perfect. But the fact that legions of anti-American dogmatists—most of whom have never experienced real oppression—enjoy the freedom (and luxury) to rail against the most prosperous nation on earth even as they employ the most advanced technology in human history and the government pays them not to work is proof positive that America is not half so bad as they say.

Nevertheless, vast swathes of the population have turned on America and use July 4th to vent their ingratitude.

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Yesterday, to kick off the festivities, AP News ran a piece bashing the word “patriot.” Titled “In a polarized US, how to define a patriot increasingly depends on who’s being asked,” the article alleged that the word has morphed to describe “extremists” and is therefore problematic.

“Far-right and extremist groups have branded themselves with American motifs and the term ‘patriot’ since at least the early 20th century, when the second Ku Klux Klan became known for the slogan “100% Americanism,” AP reported. “Since then, many right-wing groups have called themselves ‘patriots’ as they’ve fought election processes, LGBTQ+ rights, vaccines, immigration, diversity programs in schools and more. Former President Donald Trump frequently refers to his supporters as ‘patriots.’”

The rambling article went on to castigate conservatives for their alleged appropriation of the word.

In an equally absurd attack, popular activist Bree Newsome Bass tweeted that “anyone happily waving American flags right now is either a gleeful white supremacist or is gleefully uninformed.”

Ice cream manufacturer, Ben & Jerry’s, joined in the festivities, publishing a lengthy, anti-American diatribe. (Because who doesn’t want to know how much their ice cream maker hates America?)

“Ah, the Fourth of July,” the company wrote. “Who doesn’t love a good parade, some tasty barbecue, and a stirring fireworks display? The only problem with all that, though, is that it can distract from an essential truth about this nation’s birth. The US was founded on stolen Indigenous land.”

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According to author C. Bradley Thompson, he entered a Walgreens yesterday and noticed “that they had no American flags on display, although they did have [Pride] flags on display above the cash registers.”

He described on Twitter: “I asked politely if they had any American flags on display anywhere in the store. I was told ‘no.’ I asked why. The cashier told me that Walgreens is an ‘inclusive’ store, and therefore they have no American flags on display.”

Apparently, a flag that represents 7.1 percent of the population is more “inclusive” than one that represents liberty and justice for all—including all LGBTQ people.

Evidently, despite record-low levels of patriotism, there is still a discrepancy between how corporate America and everyday Americans feel about Independence Day. The average American understands that celebrating freedom and 247 years of American Exceptionalism is by no means an endorsement of America’s faults. After all, racism and slavery are not uniquely American sins. On July 4th, we celebrate all that makes America unique, exceptional—not her shortcomings, which are universal. And until her critics can point to where in the world humans have somehow avoided the sins that have plagued America, I would recommend we keep it up.

Don’t let the naysayers and faultfinders distract from the tremendous privilege of living in the greatest nation on earth. Crank up that patriotic music. Wave Old Glory with joy. Identify openly and shamelessly as a patriot. And no, whatever the left may say, you are not a racist.

Jakob Fay is a staff writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance.

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