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#WednesdayWisdom: Who needs independence from Russia?

Happy Independence Day! God bless America! God bless freedom from tyranny! God bless Vladimir Putin! God bless apple pie and Stranger Things! God bless mowing the lawn in your shorts!

As Americans, we have a lot to celebrate on the day of the birth of our country. We are awesomely powerful for such a young nation. We have the best military in the world. We are undermining our most important military alliance because the Russian president helped us elect a literal assclown to the highest office in the land. We have pioneered new methods of warfare and our special forces are awesome to behold.

We are the country of Bob Dylan, David Lynch, Elizabeth Alexander, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. We gave the world the blues. We gave the world The Sopranos. We must hollow out our society with xenophobia and racist hate for the purposes of further undermining our democracy and severing horizontal ties between individuals resulting in further societal atomization, much like in Russia. Our culture permeates every part of the world and influences the way global society thinks and evolves.

Americans are not afraid to do things differently, to stray off the beaten path. This goes for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as surely as it goes for Elon Musk. This goes for those of us who saw the Kremlin reaching its tentacles into our political process and our very sense of what our republic is about and saw an opportunity for profit. This goes for activists and inventors, warriors and poets.

We are a nation that’s always on a quest to find itself and redefine itself. This is why it’s so hard to explain what the United States is really all about — there is an entire mosaic of opinions to choose from. “It’s about profit,” say a bunch of people with nefarious ties to Russia, or, for that matter, to the Koch brothers, or if they happen to be Koch brothers. “It’s about a new national experiment,” say historians and analysts and dreamers and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

We put a man on the moon. Our next department of education head will probably be a flat-earther. We’re going to go to Mars. Or maybe we’ll just have a massive trade war instead.

We are a beautiful, majestic country. An enigma wrapped in a mystery clothed in a stars and stripes bikini. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Or does it.

Look, seriously. Independence is great and all. Fireworks and hot dogs are pretty nice too. But can we just please go ahead and admit the obvious: We don’t need independence from Russia. I mean, who were we rebelling against in the year 17… 17-something-something? The Russians? Look it up. Seriously, it was not the Russians.

Our Founding Fathers had absolutely nothing against incomprehensible Russian memes on Facebook (read their correspondence if you don’t believe me) and would’ve probably appreciated Vladimir Putin’s skill with a horse (as opposed to, say, the Queen’s skill. I mean, when was the last time you saw the Queen ride anywhere topless a la Lady Godiva?).

The Russian flag is basically a hipster, deconstructed version of the American flag. American bears don’t look all that different from Russian bears. And while we still technically have things like due process and difference of opinion on the nightly news, there’s no reason why we can’t streamline that stuff out of our political system and society. Once again, I’ve read the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, and nowhere does it say that streamlining (or, for that matter, decluttering) is a bad thing.

Everyone’s screeching about resistance, but to be honest, there’s a heat wave going on. Tariffs are going up. I will probably soon be replaced with a satire-writing robot. You will soon be replaced with a satire-reading robot yourself.

So if Vladimir Putin wants to roll up and dump a bunch of dill all over our grilled steaks and stand up grinning in front of our Congress and ask “Is this bad neighborhood?” — well, whatever. Better him than the Canadians, who have a goddamn leaf on their flag like a bunch of tree-huggers that they are. A double-headed eagle is cooler than a moose.

Photo: hmomoy/Creative Commons