By David Joel Miller.
Who is the official sponsor of the 4th of July?
The celebration of the Fourth of July as Independence Day is uniquely American. In other countries, they mark their independence on different dates. People in some countries are conflicted or even downright ambivalent about independence day, they may be rid of a colonial or conquering power but they have not yet achieved any meaningful form of independence.
Regardless of the status of your freedom and rights, I suspect that you have seen plenty of commercial enterprises who want to become the official sponsor of most everything. We have Olympic sponsors. There are official beers, shoes, and cars for most every event.
Do we, here in America, need an official sponsor of our Independence Day? Maybe we could pay off the national debt by auctioning off official sponsorships of this and other holidays. Is freedom insolvent and in need of an infusion of cash to prevent its demise?
The concept that our independence or freedom might be improved by becoming dependent on an official sponsors product is a bit confusing, but not much else about freedom makes any sense anymore.
There appear to be official sponsorships for sale on most every place or event that occurs. A sponsor can put their name on the local stadium or festival why not on a holiday?
A concerted effort to sell sponsorships might be extended to most every social need.
How about an official sponsor for DUI’s? We have a number of unofficial sponsors but why not sell that right to one particular company?
How about official sponsors for prisons? We seem to have self-proclaimed official sponsors of backyard barbecues and summer fun, though I am unsure who they paid to become an “Official Sponsor.”
I feel very certain that the signers of the declaration of independence had a clear idea of what they were declaring. From this hindsight position, there appears to be some confusion about just what independence means, let alone freedom.
I have my doubts that Samuel Adams or John Hancock expected independence to include a United colonial scribe listening in through their windows and recording their thoughts and words. Today, should those gentlemen have any progeny among us; those descendants routinely expect their government to listen in on their email and phone conversations.
Sometimes to protect freedom and independence you need to give up a lot of rights, or so we are told.
I do not recall any official sponsors of the constitutional convention or the declaration of independence. Perhaps we missed a bet?
In colonial times when the government extends an official right to be the exclusive supplier of something, this right was called a monopoly. That monopoly on tea is reported to have played a role in sparking America’s rebellion.
On my more cynical days, I am inclined to think that the American war of rebellion was also a war to preserve our uninterrupted access to drugs, stimulants in the form of tea.
Since monopolies have gotten a bad name we now call these exclusive rights by other names like “official sponsor” or “bidder’s preference.”
Those who are celebrating Independence Day here in America are not the only group who are moving towards selling official sponsorship rights. Neither the Pilgrims nor the followers of that Jesus guy had any plan, as far as I can see, to sell the commercial rights to their holidays but those days now would barely be functional without commercial sponsorships.
Despite all the apparent opportunities for a commercial sponsor on this Independence day, I remain unconvinced that we will be any more independent or free for having an official sponsor or two for this celebration.
Having another furniture or used car sale by an official sponsor will not promote or establish anyone’s freedom.
Independence and freedom are bought and preserved by the sacrifices of patriots; however, you understand that patriotism, not bought and sold by the cash of official sponsors.
Here is hoping that each and every one of you is enjoying the blessings of freedom and independence on this day devoted to remembering what it cost to assure those rights.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books
(Personal aside: I wrote and scheduled this post on 6/30/13. Today while browsing I came across a website ad that said, – celebrate Fourth of July – shop now. Someone is already into the holiday spirit or is it the holiday spirits?)