by Leonard Pierce
The Fourth of July used to be one of my favorite holidays. Its location midway through the summer was a nice kick, and it was a good occasion for grilling before the money dried up and it got too hot to go outside. But beyond that, I had the idealist’s love of America — or at least the idea of America. No doubt I was, and am, a far-left liberal who preferred to focus on the work that needed to be done instead of dwelling on the accomplishments that had already been made; and I figured out a lot time ago that American exceptionalism was largely a tool used by the bosses to keep ordinary people from discovering the value of solidarity. But I still felt pretty swell when I thought about the uniqueness of the American experiment, the mutable genius of the Constitution, the nation’s vastness and beauty, its infinite potential and boundless opportunity.