by Charlotte Valyo, CCDC Chair
July 4th has always been a holiday that unites Americans. Across the country, people of all ages, races, and backgrounds wait with the same anticipation for that first firework to light up the night sky, that first bite of a burger fresh off the grill, and the first sip of ice cold lemonade. We learn in school and listen to speeches about the formation of our nation, about how our democracy changed the world, and about the courage it took our founders to craft a Declaration of Independence based on the idea that all men (and women) are created equal.
The 4th of July was a holiday that was cherished regardless of political party – a celebration of what we have in common. Now, as we prepare to celebrate the 246th anniversary of the birth of our democracy, we are engaged in a historic struggle to keep that democracy alive, to keep our nation moving forward, and to protect the rights that our forefathers worked so hard to secure for us all.
One of the bedrocks of American Democracy has always been an unwavering respect for our electoral process and the will of the majority of Americans. In just the past few weeks, however, the Supreme Court majority, handpicked by the extreme right wing, has disregarded the will of the American people, torn apart decades of precedent giving women control over their own bodies, upended a century old gun-control law just as our nation was recovering from multiple mass shootings, and now rolled back advances we have made to protect our environment.
This Fourth of July, let us not just look back at how our nation was founded, but what it has meant to freedom-loving people across the globe. The beacon of light and hope that we have provided to those fighting for democracy in the darkest corners of the world is fading. While most of you reading this are aware of the dangers of doing nothing, many of our neighbors may not be. This Fourth of July is a time to get everyone off the sidelines to defend the fundamental truth that we are all equal – men, women, LBGTQ+, black, white, brown, yellow, poor, middle-class, wealthy, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist. We are all equal and that is what constitutes our nation’s greatness.
Enjoy this American holiday and your time with family and friends, but also use it to recommit ourselves to the values Democrats hold and remember how important it is that we keep working to build a Country we will be proud to leave for our children. Those who are trying to systematically chip away at our rights are hoping we back down, hoping we give up. But the 4th of July is all about Americans who stood up when the going got tough and I know we will do the same thing now.