Here in the U.S., today is July 4, also known as Independence Day. On this day in 1776, the thirteen American colonies of Great Britain declared their independence by proclaiming the Declaration of Independence as a legal document that separated themselves from the British empire, and in the process declared themselves as a separate country, the United States of America.
And thus began the slow march in the United States towards democracy.
Democracy is a fleeting concept though, and it has yet to see its full manifestation in the U.S.
As I write this, Egypt is in the throes of a political crisis, as it too grapples with what democracy is. The military stepped in to remove the elected president, Mohammed Morsi, because of his ideological and strident political views. The military says this is not a coup but instead it is trying to right the ship, as they try to help steer the country towards something it has never had before – democracy.
We all want this ideal of democracy – we don’t want stridency, whether it be a religious one, or as we see in the U.S., a corporate oligarchical one. What we want is the ideals as put forth by Abraham Lincoln: a country “of the people, by the people and for the people.”
So as Leonard Cohen says/sings in the above video, “Democracy is Coming, to the U.S.A.”
Happy Independence Day.