Yesterday, America celebrated its 241 years of freedom the way it has since 1776: with a beery display of patriotism that quickly devolves into righteous anger, to the point where we start blowing up our stuff just to prove we own it. This year, that grand tradition of jingoistic jackassery coincided with NPR’s nearly 30-year-old ritual of reading out the Declaration of Independence—an act that then became all mixed up with the knee-jerk irrationality of Twitter, when NPR decided to tweet the entire text, 140 characters at a time. Add in the rancor for the media and general, persistent irritability that defines the Donald Trump age, and the result is people angrily railing against one of the foundational documents of our nation for “bias.” It’s like the internet taking a massive tea-dump in the fetid Boston Harbor of your mind.
Most of yesterday’s outrage stemmed from the Declaration’s line about “a Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” Some supporters just naturally assumed this to be a reference to Trump, and they rushed to defend him against these scurrilous insults they’d inferred.
Others railed against NPR’s “mission” of spewing the “bias” and “propaganda” written by some leftist crybabies who were so butthurt about being ruled by a kick-ass king, they wrote a big whiny post about how they needed a safe space, 13 colonies-wide. These non-cucks mockingly reveled in the belief that NPR would soon be defunded for wasting real Americans’ time with this “trash.”
Seriously, this is the dumbest idea I have ever seen on twitter. Literally no one is going to read 5000 tweets about this trash.
— Darren Mills 🇺🇸 (@darren_mills) July 4, 2017
And within this defiant statement of liberty from authoritarian rule, which two centuries ago launched a long and brutal war, some were able to discern the subtext: that this was a naked call for “revolution” that, if acted upon, would cloak so much bloodshed under the veil of “patriotism.” Nice try—but some people can read between the lines.
Still, if there’s one soothing balm to this, the online discourse equivalent of losing your fingers in a fireworks accident, it’s that one of the victims managed to overcome his self-inflicted wounds and his own arrogance, tape up his metaphorically deformed hand, and complete an inspiring journey of personal and patriotic growth.
Yes, all hail to this Johnny Tremain of Twitter, and may we all learn from his example! At least until next Fourth of July, when we get drunk and start blowing shit up again.