News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
Consider this an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
Forget D.C. Forget Twitter. Forget what’s on your screens. On America’s 242nd birthday, the numbers in the poll below should be a hell of a lot higher.
The big picture: Gallup this week began its report on the poll above (taken by phone June 1-13; 1,520 U.S. adults; ±3-point margin of error for total): “This Fourth of July marks a low point in U.S. patriotism. … For the first time in Gallup’s 18-year history asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans, fewer than a majority say they are ‘extremely proud.”
Our thought bubble: When we begin conflating “America” with partisan forces on either side, they’ve won. The strength of our country has been that it transcends the fads, fevers and foul-ups of the moment.
There’s plenty we can do better, and that our leaders should do better. We write about that on Axios all day, every day. Axios AM’s highest purpose is to give you a clear-eyed view of a disruptive world, so you can make smarter decisions.
But enjoy today, and the country. America, here’s to 243!
From The Hill
Celebrating our nation’s independence in 2018 offers an opportunity to consider the path of our history — to take a look back and to take a look forward.
Our first and perhaps greatest leader, George Washington, did the same shortly after he became president in 1789. The points he made and challenges he set for the country have as much resonance today as they did when he framed them.
Washington developed his thoughts on the path of America in correspondence he wrote to the religious believers of our nation at the time he began his presidency. In thanking the people of various congregations — Jewish, Protestant and Catholic — for their well wishes upon his election, Washington took the time to draft letters that perhaps had a little more thought behind them than our average email or text penned in the hurly-burly of today’s world.
For the Fourth of July, we asked a number of people who came to the United States from countries as far flung as Vietnam, Haiti, Somalia and the Soviet Union to write about their experiences. What was it like leaving their home countries and traveling so far to a strange land? And how do they feel about America today?
More than a century after his death, Frederick Douglass and July 4 remain profoundly intertwined.
Douglass was one of the greatest public speakers of the Civil War era, a conscience of the abolitionist movement and beyond and a popular choice for summing up American ideals, failings and challenges. His withering 1852 oration in Rochester, New York ranks high in the canon of American oratory and is still widely cited as a corrective to the day’s celebratory spirit.
But it wasn’t the only time he was asked to speak at an Independence Day event. Subsequent and lesser known speeches in 1862 and 1875 track the profound changes in his thinking and in the country’s history, from days when slavery seemed unending to the midst of the Civil War to a moment when Reconstruction in the South was being dismantled and a violent and legalized system of racial oppression was set to rule for nearly a century.
And An Independence Day Bonus Note From The “God Bless America” File
Two Boston police officers are showing that America is the land that they love with their Fourth of July version of “Carpool Karaoke.”
In what they’re calling “Cop Pool Karaoke,” Officers Stephen McNulty and Kim Tavares discuss the upcoming Fourth of July holiday on the video before belting out a stirring rendition of “God Bless America.”
I leave you today with a quote from my favorite Founding Father. In April, 1777, John Adams wrote his beloved Abigail a letter in which he lamented the price of bestowing Freedom on future generations.
Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.
May Freedom long ring in America and may we never give John any more reason to repent of his pains in preserving liberty for us than we already have.
Happy Independence Day!