Let’s celebrate the Fourth with more patriotism, less chauvinism | ParkRecord.com

Let’s celebrate the Fourth with more patriotism, less chauvinism

The Park Record editorial, July 1-4, 2017

There will be a lot of fervent flag waving this weekend, but, unfortunately, the annual display of stars and stripes can't disguise our country's current deep divisions. Even here in Summit County, the electorate is polarized.

On a positive note, the passionate debates that have overtaken the political process across the country indicate that citizens are engaged. They are informed and eager to interact with legislators at the state and federal levels. On the down side, though, too many of those interactions have become hostile, resulting in bitter stalemates.

Nationally, lawmakers' failure to negotiate in good faith has led to impasses on important health care, immigration and budget policies. Locally the political lines have been drawn on the ownership and control of public lands. For instance, this week, the Park City Council formalized its stand against turning federally managed lands over to state or private ownership – a position supported by local constituents but opposed by a majority of the Utah State Legislature.

But this Fourth of July, as anticipated record-breaking crowds attend local parades, concerts and rodeos, we hope that everyone will make a special effort to express their patriotism with a little less chauvinism, to raise a common flag without condemning opposing viewpoints.

In addition to reveling in Summit County's bounty of summer activities, Independence Day should be a time for celebrating the example set by the country's Founding Fathers as they crafted a declaration intended to give every voice an opportunity to be heard and represented.

In case that message has been lost in the din of today's controversies, here is what they wrote:

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"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."