A Bang-Up Fourth

I think we’ve well established my lack of patriotic fervor right around now, but still, Pam wanted to take the girls to see a real fireworks show (as opposed to the fairly low-key backyard variety my folks usually put together). Fair enough — I figure the kids will get a kick out of it, and I’m by no means anti-American (both of the girls have pretty much got the Preamble to the Constitution down, thanks to Schoolhouse Rock). Given the anticipated difficulty in getting to the downtown fireworks display, and the hassle of dealing with shuttle buses to see even the local Fairfax display, we thought we’d try heading out to Manassas Park.

Fair warning: I’m about to start sounding elitist here, but sometimes, I just can’t help it.

I’m not about to suggest that all — or probably even most — of the residents of Manassas Park are a couple of rungs down on the evolutionary ladder, but there was certainly a representative sampling of them in evidence (the fact that the town’s City Hall resembles a corrugated-metal warehouse probably doesn’t help either). I don’t know, maybe these types of events really bring out the trailer park crowd, but I couldn’t help noticing we were surrounded by the kind of folks who helped little George steal the 2000 presidential election, who think he’s doing a bang-up job, ’cause we gotta show them Ay-rabs what fer; after all, we need to get Saddam and them Eye-rackeys for what they did on 9-11. I don’t know that I really hate country music (which was prominently featured in last night’s festivities), but I seriously dislike the kind of people country music attracts.

A (more than slightly intoxicated) friend once said to me, “How does it feel to know you’re the intellectual superior of everyone in the room.” At the time, it was clear he was exaggerating (well, at least a bit). Last night, though, I thought of an answer for him: Frankly, it’s a little off-putting. To a degree, it made me question my political outlook. I mean, why should I concern myself with the needs of folks who readily accept what this right-wing regime is doing to them, who gladly say, “Great job, George! Need me to bend over a little farther? No problem!”

And then I sit back and remember that even were I to think in purely selfish terms, I’ve got to stick to my guns. In the past, I may have been in an income bracket that, on average, came out ahead under the Republican economic philosophy, but not so under Bush — after all, I’m not a billionaire. I may not be getting screwed as much as these poor saps, but I’m still getting screwed. Add that to little George’s deliberate lies and Ashcroft’s destruction of anything resembling civil rights in this country, and my convictions are renewed.

I don’t know what I’ll end up doing a few years from now, but at least for the moment, I’m gonna keep squawking.


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