Surviving an Unsettling Fourth of July

Hand-held sparkler against a dark background of US flag in shadow

Friday, July 5, 2019

I used to hold one unambiguous thought about the Fourth of July. It was wonderful — with picnics, parades, fireworks — and concerts that made you weep for love of country. But around 10 or 12 years ago that changed; I was beginning to feel unsettled about my nation, a kind of patriotic unease.

Tanks on the Mall

I’m as patriotic as the next American, maybe more. Proof? I recently listened to the unabridged production of Revolutionary Summer by Joseph J. Ellis — simply for enjoyment.

But leading up to America’s 2019 Independence Day celebrations, the mental image of tanks rolling across the Washington Mall, as if the United States is some kind of banana republic, made me sick to my stomach. Such a display would be really low-class. You don’t boast about having the most, when you actually have the most. You don’t need to, you don’t want to. You know what sets off greatness? Humility. Sadly, would-be dictators see it differently.

I did not watch Trump’s military parade yesterday. It would have been utterly unsettling.

How did you celebrate the Fourth?

Gerrymandering Is Legal

Regarding recent judicial decisions? It’s quite unsettling that the Supreme Court of the United States chose to protect politics over democracy.

In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan redistricting is a political question — not reviewable by federal courts — and that those courts can’t judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the Constitution.

~ All Things Considered, June 27, 2019 | NPR

No, no, no. Partisan redistricting is not a political question. It’s a question of democracy. Rigged elections are unfair, unconscionable, and certainly undemocratic. No, further. Rigged elections are treasonous. Isn’t that obvious?

Indeed, it’s laughable to think Russian interference could have more impact on U.S. elections than our very own domestic meddling. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, party-rigged primaries, and the Electoral College create real interference to democratic American elections.

Keeping Up the Good Fight

No matter how unsettled, we keep up the Good Fight.

Here at the site, we’re highlighting left-leaning, progressive information resources. Check out these new pages:

Progressive Heroes in the “Untelevised” News was updated. We’re starting to add state pages to The Revolutionary Progressive Candidates of 2020: Medicare 4 All & No Corp Money! So far, we have published the New York page, which is a little skimpy right now. Expect the state pages to multiply over the next few weeks, and to fill-out with candidates over the coming months.

Oh, yes. The site title has changed from to Progressive Graffiti. When you’re master of the universe (that is, your blog) you can do anything. 🙂

If you don’t mind, please white list Graffiti with your ad-blocker. We show only 1-3 simple ads per page, so you shouldn’t experience a performance slowdown.

Thanks for your visit, my friend. Democracy forever! (Yes? No? Maybe?)


Published by JoAnn Chateau

Website owner and administrator of “Progressive Graffiti.”

2 thoughts on “Surviving an Unsettling Fourth of July

  1. I fear you may be heading towards an extreme right-wing dictatorship over there, if Trump’s narcissism, bombast, nepotism and admiration for tyrants is anything to go by. Meanwhile, climate change is being ignored. Democracy is under threat here in the UK too, and in many other countries:(


    1. It is frightening. Trump’s supporters are so loyal, they don’t care what he does. Truly a case study for social scientists to tackle.

      Greed is global. If only we had a Corbyn-Prime-Minister/Sanders-President alliance — that’d be a win for democracy and climate.

      Late 2018, Bernie Sanders and Yanis Varoufakis established the Progressive International. However, I understand the UK Labour Party doesn’t care for Varoufakis’ ideas regarding immigration reform. A succinct article about it all:


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