Happy Birthday America! I hope you get many more, but I’m worried.


Happy Birthday, America. It is July 4, 2022. You look a little haggard these days, but then again, you are 226. 

I hope you have hundreds more as a vibrant democracy, serving as a “city on a hill.” But I’m afraid your run as a democracy may be coming to an end. 

On this 4th of July, I keep thinking of January 6. 

Driving around Oklahoma in the spring, where I took all the photos for the post, I saw American flags everywhere. The sight of the Stars and Stripes is common across the USA, from the coastal states to the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains. But I saw something disturbing flapping in the Oklahoman breeze – Trump flags. 

Let’s recap the last six years. 

And yet, many of my fellow Oklahomans, the majority of which attend church and call themselves Christians, still support him. It makes me wonder if they follow Trump or Jesus? If you genuinely believe in thou shall not commit adultery, lie, steal, or murder, I don’t see how you can do both. 

I also don’t know how you can love America, democracy, and Trump. Like, Liz Cheney said during the most recent January 6 hearings, “Republicans cannot be both loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution.” The peaceful transition of power and accepting loss is the foundation of any democracy, but the Republican Party is quickly moving to take away the right to choose our leaders. Places like Georgia recently gave the state legislature the final say in elections, and if this is allowed to stand, they will almost certainly override the next election. The GOP tried to do it when they lost by 7,059,547 votes, so they will do it if they lose by less. 

My only hope is that enough people in the heartland who go to church, fly the flag, and love our country realize there is a better way. They don’t have to support Trump again and can choose someone who supports democracy, doesn’t fire off racist tweets, brag about sexually assaulting women, or constantly lie. Of course, this will require them to turn off Fox News, listen to the January 6 hearings, and admit that Trump lost.

Time will tell, but on America’s birthday today, I am still hopeful because I believe there are enough good people in the country to pull us through this dark time. 

What do you think? Will democracy survive in America, or was January 6th the beginning of the end?

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Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~ planetbell1@gmail.com

20 thoughts on “Happy Birthday America! I hope you get many more, but I’m worried.”

  1. Being a spectator to what’s happening in the US is truly mind-boggling. I hope the voters wake up to reality. It’s starting to flow over to our border a little too, fortunately not as bad, but still concerning.

    • Hopefully Canada doesn’t get too crazy so we have a place to flee 🙂 To be fair, your trucker rally inspired one here in America, but it was a total failure.

  2. Adler, Brian says:


    Excellent! I have the same thoughts. Could you change my email address to brianadler372@gmail.combrianadler372@gmail.com? I recently retired and still have my SWOSU email for a few months but would like to receive your posts in the future.

    Again, thanks for your words today!


    • You should get a confirmation email with the new address, and congratulations on retirement! Happy 4th of July, and hopefully we have many more as a democracy.

  3. Debby Stine says:

    I agree with your post, Jeff. It is mind boggling to me, that people continue to support that man!!

    • It is perplexing especially after January 6 and all we now know. Sadly so many people are just turning a blind eye to it.

  4. Melissa Rosaaen says:

    Another thought provoking post. And the pictures I found to be strangely chilling. Yesterday was a sad independence day in my mind. I appreciate your optimism because frankly, that’s what is going to support any level of resiliency and strength needed as we work together in dissent.
    I think you might like the book, American Nations by Colin Woodard. Check it out.
    Another great set of photos.

    • I’m not optimistic that there will be a great awakening and change of heart among most Trumpers, but if just enough can see what is happening, then maybe he won’t win the nomination again and a more moderate voice can emerge. I’ll check out that book. It looks interesting. Thanks for commenting.

  5. I know people believe what they want to believe, but the verifiable evidence in these cases is overwhelming. Do facts count for nothing?

    • They count for nothing if you ignore them. I think so many people bury their heads in the Fox News propaganda machine. But eventually they have to see through it, I’d think. It is like a parent with a drug addicted child. Denial only goes so far.

  6. Great post, Jeff. I wish I’d never seen A Handmaid’s Tale, because I fear a version of it is coming. And the husband is lamenting the way things are going in the UK, so our house is pretty depressing right now.

    • Praise Be! We should all flee Gillead while we can. In seriousness, it is amazing how the Democrats won both houses of Congress and hate presidency and it we are getting smashed by the Supreme court and the states.

  7. What a distressing time to be American, to see democracy undermined in such a systematic way, and to have a large section of the population actually supporting those efforts. I was flabbergasted when I found out the Supreme Court actually overturned Roe v Wade. And that’s on top of the regular mass shootings that make their way onto the news websites and programs here in Indonesia. I have relatives in Texas, New York, Illinois, and Colorado… sometimes I get a bit worried for their safety given all these things and the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes because of Covid-19.

    • The most worrying part for me is that the USA is a keystone democracy. If it fails then it could have a ripple effect. You are right to worry for your family. Shootings and hate crimes are on the rise. There is a mass shooting almost every day. Sort of scary that we just let it happen and don’t make any real changes.

      On another sad note, I watched the Anthony Bourdain parts unknown from about 2017 in Hong Kong the other day. Made me sad for two things that are gone.

      This turned out to be a real bummer of a blog post 🙂

  8. It all is so heartbreaking. I’m worried too – not just for the US but for the world. It feels like the beginning of the end for your country, like the end of an empire. 😢 I so very much hope I’m wrong.
    It’s a fascinating collection of photos. Individuality I mostly would not be drawn to them, but as a collection, as a statement, it is very powerful.

    • The flag is so ubiquitous in the States, from large murals and ginormous flags on poles to tiny bumper stickers. I have a folder on my computer with hundreds of such photos. Is the Canadian flag as widespread? I can’t remember but I wasn’t really looking for it.

  9. It always both perplexes me and gives me solace to know that intelligent people like you can still harbor hope for our sad nation. I guess that hope springs eternal in me, too, but lately it’s been a lot harder to muster. The cognitive dissonance exhibited by these Trump followers is mind-boggling.

    • Cognitive dissonance is the perfect phrase for it. It reminds me of a parent who has a child who is using drugs but they are in denial. At a certain point they have to see it and do something. I think that is what gives me hope. Maybe just enough Trump supporters wake up that he doesn’t get the nomination and we can move forward.

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