What exactly will be celebrated? Normally this question would not be even asked. But as historians, propagandists, politicians, and conspiratorialists have worked us all into a frenzy about patriotic beliefs, monuments, and symbols, the question becomes quite à propos.
As someone who has even doubted the oldest form of patriotic gore, I offer my services. I believe the American Revolution was unnecessary, the result of religious and political fanatics in the colonies trying to return to the Puritan Revolution which toppled Charles I and his head, installed Cromwell as a god-given military dictator, and finally with the help of the French created what Franklin called “a republic if you can keep it,” which within two generations became instead a Democracy in which virtue was replaced by vice and honor by money. Since the reign of Andrew Jackson this country has betrayed most of the more elevated prose of our founders.
So what to celebrate on Bedloe’s Island, now apparently called Liberty Island? Without the Revolution we could have been like Canada. How bad would that have been?