Restored fire truck carries VFW Members in Aloha, OR 4th of July Parade- Oregonian photo
Democratic political candidates can skip this weekend's July 4th parades. A new Harvard University study finds that July 4th parades energize only Republicans, turn kids into Republicans, and help to boost the GOP turnout of adults on Election Day.I'm sorry- was I supposed to throw up my hands and recoil in horror at the last part? Was the end result of this study supposed to be me wringing my hands over how politicized independence day has become? I really don't recall Independence Day parades featuring veterans riding on fire trucks or high school marching bands as having an inherently political bias- but then again, these guys are super-smart and from Harvard, so I could've just as easily missed something I suppose.
"Fourth of July celebrations in the United States shape the nation's political landscape by forming beliefs and increasing participation, primarily in favor of the Republican Party," said the report from Harvard.
"The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans," write Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott and Bocconi University Assistant Professor Andreas Madestam.
For all their faults, the GOP has not been out there in recent weeks attempting to circulate the meme that the Constitution is obsolete and needs to be replaced with an open-source document via social networking outlets like Twitter or Facebook. In fact, the same people attempting to advance that argument have been sharply critical of the GOP- particularly the incoming crop of freshman supported by the Tea Party last year- going so far as to claim reading the founding document aloud was some sort of perverse fetish.
Or is yearning to be even more like a sparesly populated, bankrupt Scandinavian nation the new definition patriotism now?
Nor is the GOP attempting to stop 4th of July fireworks displays through the use of nuisance lawsuits or attempting to limit the number of times a city council meeting can say the pledge of allegiance. In fact, given the open contempt that the media elites have demonstrated they hold for the flyover states and small town America, I would venture a guess that many of the progressives that make up so much of the voting bloc of today's Democrat party would be downright uncomfortable at one of these functions, however non-partisan they may actually be.