Happy Birthday, America! Now get your shit together, will ya?

Whew, 244 years–the second oldest country in the world! Even your iconic Lady Liberty is getting up there, depending on whether you consider her birth to be her date of origin or her date of dedication, she is now somewhere between 134 and 155 years old!

How long do countries live, anyway? Japan is the oldest, coming in at about 2680 years old. Compared to that, you’re only about 9-10% through life (if we had any real idea of a country’s life expectancy, which we don’t). That makes you, America, kind of like an angsty, rebellious teenager out there in the world testing your limits and trying to find your place. Funny thing is, prior to the most recent administration, most of us believed you’d found your place already.

So, you’ve slid backwards on the development scale. But, let’s say Japan is the outlier. The average age of a country is around 165-166 years, which still makes you pretty old. Definitely no youngin’!

Old enough to know better, don’t ya think?

Your history is rich and varied. You’ve struggled through hard times. You’ve had some amazing experiences and lived to tell the tale. All the while learning and growing into what we all presumed was the greatest country of all–dependable, responsible, the world’s safe haven.

We were making progress, weren’t we? Slow, painful progress, in baby steps, but still–it was progress.

We elected our first Black president! We almost had our first woman president! We were embracing ideals of tolerance, cooperation, equality, and justice for all, weren’t we?

Environmental protections, education reform, scientific research funding, renewable energy investment, protective banking regulations, increasing access to healthcare, marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights–we were on our way and we thought things were fine.

What the hell happened?! How did we get where we are today?

You’ve stopped trying to move forward and are going in the wrong direction! Listening to extremists in the minority and no longer working for the public good. You’ve become self-indulgent, self-serving, selfish. FFS–you’ve become ‘Murican. Not the proud, globally aware, tolerant and accepting Americans we thought we were and strive to be, but rather the kind who mockingly do beer shooters and grunt “‘Murica!” while playing with guns and ammo and bitch-slapping their wives for not buying enough beer!

Come on! Get your shit together! Rise to the challenge and get back on the path to a respectable future. You can do it, I know you can. No one really wants to live out the story line from Idiocracy, or do they?

Let’s get back to the ideals of tolerance, cooperation, equality, and justice for all because that’s the only clear path that benefits the greater good, and because no matter what some hate-spewing loudmouths claim, we are all one race–no matter our skin color, sexual orientation, gender orientation, or ancestral heritage–we are all human. We all have to share this planet and we are all equally responsible for doing our part to respect both this Earth we call home and our brothers and sisters who live on it with us.

So, happy 244th birthday America. It’s time to grow up now.

Related: Last year’s Independence Day post – On this Independence Day, it’s important to think about what and why we’re celebrating

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