Go Joe Biden!
Fourth of July. Independence day. We celebrate this day in so many ways. Flying the flag, a nice summer bar-b-cue, spending it with family and counting our blessings. We celebrate this country, not by forgetting our history of servitude and slavery and struggle but by remembering what we can become - a more just society, a more perfect union. America is an idea. It's the idea that the conditions of our birth should not determine our destiny in life. As President Obama would say, in no other country on earth would his story be even possible. Incidentally, the President and the First Lady will be celebrating this day with military families just as the past two years.
Let us remember those who have given the final measure of devotion to this country and those who still serve, in and out of uniform, black, white, yellow and brown, gay and straight. Let us remember the leaders of our civil rights movements - the people on whose shoulders we stand: The Martin Luther Kings, the Susan B. Anthonys, the Rosa Parkses, the Cesar Chavezes, the Harvey Milks.
But I think that there's something beyond celebrations and commemorations for Independence Day. There is something each of us can do. President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." What can you do? Reach out to someone who has served and say thank you. Reach out to your neighbor and your community and help those less fortunate than you. Commit or recommit yourself to a cause of justice - whether it is the continuing work of fighting racism - both personal and institutionalized, advancing LGBT rights, protecting women's rights, labor rights and immigrant rights, or whether it's the cause of making sure that in a country with so much plenty, children do not have to go to bed hungry and communities should not have to live in the threat of violence.
On this 4th of July, let's all think about the kind of country we want. Because the only limit to the country we can have is the limit of our imaginations. And let's think about how we build that country - a more perfect union. Call me crazy, but I think one of the most important steps towards building that country is to make sure that President Obama gets another term in office. The President's detractors aren't sitting quietly; neither should we. Are you in?
Happy 4th everyone!