Independence Day, a baseball game, and fireworks in the age of Donald Trump

I wanted to enjoy the Colorado Rockies game and fireworks on Independence Day, but in the age of Donald, I got cognitive dissonance instead.

Independence Day was uncomfortable this year. I was sitting at a Colorado Rockies game with my family and brother-in-law during the seventh inning stretch when a US Army soloist sang God Bless America. While I ultimately decided to stand in order to honor the soldier singing it, as I stood there I had a very uncomfortable realization. I realized that I’d heard Coors Field honor the US armed forces at least four other times over the course of the game. Something felt wrong about that somehow.

And then, during the post-game fireworks, I found myself feeling like the fireworks set to song were less a patriotic celebration of our Independence Day and more a nationalistic or even jingoistic catharsis.

Independence Day is the day the colonies declared our independence from Britain. In many ways it signifies the birth of the United States of America (the crafting of the Constitution in 1789 would be the other defining moment). Clearly, our independence was won by force of arms during the Revolutionary War, so honoring our military and singing patriotic songs is hardly out of place for the holiday. But there was something different this time. I’ve been thinking about this ever since, and I think I’ve figured out what was different this year: me. Continue reading