Celebrating the birth of the greatest country on Earth wasn’t always such a controversial affair. I remember a time when freedom-loving citizens could stroll into their local grocery wearing an America-themed tank top, or maybe a cutoff tee, and be greeted with high fives and chants of "U-S-A!" Then you’d march back out into the summer heat cradling two cases of Bud Heavy and a bucket of meat for the grill. It was a simpler time, when you could buy fireworks by the crate without having to show ID, or sign a waiver, or be bombarded with government warnings about the risks of "operating while intoxicated."
Alas, things aren’t so simple anymore. For many so-called Americans—I’m talking about the 30 to 40 percent of the country who voted for Hillary Clinton legally—the word "freedom" has become synonymous with Hitler or ISIS. I know this because my nephew, Brayden, is one these freedom haters, and we’re going to be spending some time together at the lake house this week. (He’s on summer break from grad school, natch.) I assume that many of my fellow patriots will find themselves in similar situations, so I though I’d offer some advice on how to survive Independence Day with your feckless millennial relatives.
This year’s 4th of July holiday is going to be particularly stressful when it comes to patriot-millennial relations. As you may or may not know, there’s a big soccer tournament called the "World Cup" taking place right now in the former U.S.S.R. If your nephew is anything like Brayden, he’ll insist on watching all the games—in lieu of a normal sport like baseball, or Harry Connick Jr.'s Independence Day—in order to advance his globalist agenda. Don’t let him.
Soccer is a hideously anti-American affair: tedious, low scoring, international, foot centric, socialist, and prone to tie games and indiscriminate whining. The fact that Belgium is one of the favorites to win the World Cup this year should tell you everything thing you need to know about soccer. Belgium!
In fact, soccer’s only measurable benefit to Western civilization is that it occasionally allows people like Brayden to express an unironic form of patriotism for once in their miserable lives. Unfortunately, the United States didn’t even qualify for this year’s World Cup, so there’s no one to root for. Instead, you can look forward to a lecture about how taking a knee during the fireworks display is actually the highest form of patriotism. Ugh.
Anyway, the key to schooling your snowflake nephew on Independence Day is to lure him into a false sense of security—a "safe space," if you will—before dropping a MOAB on his ass. Let him get a few stray comments out of his system first, maybe something about how "MS-13 is misunderstood" or "urinals are oppressive" or "the WNBA is actually really exciting," or "Jesus was trans." Whatever. You get the idea. That’s when you should pounce.
I might suggest starting with a passive-aggressive question or comment about the "Founding Fathers." That phrase is sure to trigger him, because of the patriarchy. He’ll stammer a bit about how offended he is "as a feminist ally," but that’s when you should really put your foot on the gas.
"Look, Brayden," I might say, for example. "I know that in your little neo-leftist fantasy world, where borders don’t exist, and everyone is walking around with their free Obamaphones, sucking gray sludge through a straw, and converting to Islam, you probably don’t think it’s necessary to celebrate our nation’s founding, or honor the ideals for which it stands. I’m sure you’d rather spend all day surfing the YouTube channels watching some nerd from Vox.com explain the top five ways to take an environmentally conscious shit, or how the Constitution is just too damn old and confusing for our own good. Right?"
I may also mention the fact that Brayden owns a Colin Kaepernick jersey and a "Free Mike Vick" Christmas sweater despite never having watched an NFL game in his life, or showing any interest in real sports that allow players to use their hands. Hell, he couldn’t even catch a beach ball until he was 12 years old. Then I’ll recommend that he and all his communist comrades move to Venezuela, where they can try to make a living selling craft IPAs to starving orphans. I’ll say this in a firm but slightly mocking tone.
I’ll probably close with a line about how freedom needs to be earned, but also enjoyed. Freedom is riding a four-wheeler into a monsoon, guns blazing, suds guzzling, steak sizzling, skinny dipping, rough riding, dip chewing, fence swinging, mud loving, fun chugging, busy living, and so on.
Hope that helps. Happy Fourth!!!
—Strickland "Shiv" Crawford is a freelance security consultant based in Waxhaw, NC.