This is not exactly the type of pre-Independence Day post I envisioned, but when an article came to my attention earlier this week about a Harvard study that claims July 4th parades are some type of Republican pep rally, it was too much to pass up. That is, after I realized it was not a parody (see Paul Bedard's Washington Whispers Blog at USNews.com). Next, we'll find out that the "researchers" got a "stimulus" (or other government) grant to do the report. (How ironic is it that it came from Harvard, John Adams' alma mater? See the 1776 clip, below.) According to the report, conservatives are a patriotic lot. Now, that's a shock. Of course, I guess it depends on your definition of patriotism. The Left has been trying to redefine it for years, along with everything else (from marriage to the word "is"). Hillary Clinton tried to redefine the redefinition then stamp her own version of patriotism in this famous rant where she set up the conservative bogeyman and screeched against this figment of her imagination.
But the report goes beyond calling conservatives patriotic. For instance, it says:
The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century.
I didn't know American history could be appropriated. I thought the tenants of American independence — Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness — that are celebrated each Independence Day were universal. If anyone has appropriated anything it is the Left which has made it a practice of apologizing for the founding of our country, what America stands for and the good we've done around the world.
The report's findings imply a brainwashing of sorts:
» Attending a July 4th parade before the age of 18 increases the likelihood of a youth identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent.
» It raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for a Republican candidate by 4 percent.
» It boosts the likelihood a reveler will vote by about 1 percent and increases the chances they'll make a political contribution by 3 percent.
That's another irony, considering what much of what public education has become, as well as the general public discourse, where the Left has reinterpreted Founding Principles to mean that more government equals more freedom, precisely the opposite reason why Americans took up arms against the British Empire.
But rather than trying to make Independence Day a partisan occasion, why doesn't the Left simply participate in it? Maybe they'll find they like it, have a good time and make new friends. That is, if they don't mind admiring the courage of the Founders, finding the magnificence of the Declaration's stirring words, and reveling in the truth of what Robert Middlekauff termed The Glorious Cause.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.