Happy Birthday, United States of America!
  Despite the nightmare of the past political season, despite the differences that continue to try to divide us, we are still the best place to be. It's up to us to work out our differences, to continue to work towards compromise..... yes, I said compromise....that we all can live with. This continued Red State - Blue State division has got to stop. They only ones who benefit from the constant back and fort are the politicians who feed off of our fears and prejudices, and the enemies of freedom and self determination that surround us, like a pack of merciless predators who would tear our great nation asunder and feed on the corpse.
  The hateful rhetoric of the extremes on both sides just fuel the anger that would lead to the end of the 'Great Experiment' that is the United States of America, and that would lead us into anarchy, and herald the end of democracy as we know it. Some would applaud this outcome. Some have been working towards this horrific goal. People who love the freedoms that we have enjoyed for so many years would be lost and bewildered as everything that they have enjoyed since they were children, came crashing down around them.
  I urge each and every citizen of this country: Do not let the rhetoric that is being spewed on a daily basis, make you distrust the very things that have built the foundation of this democratic republic. Do not let the constant drumbeat of hate, the attempt to call all news reporters the 'Fake News' make you turn your heads away from the word that is the truth. 
 Remember this: The very people who would have you believe that everything that these hard working people report is fake, are the very ones who would have you believe that the tragic killings of those Angels in Newtown, Connecticut was a hoax. They would have you believe that President Bush was behind the tragedy of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
  They want to destroy the free press. They would suppress free speech, and freedom of religion, freedom to assemble peacefully to make our grievances known. I hear such outcries about the second amendment, but nothing about the first; and without the first, there would be no second.
  It is up to each and every one of us, the citizens of the United States of America, to stand vigilant against those who would take our freedoms away. It's up to us, the citizens of the United States of America, to preserve, protect, and defend, the constitution of the United States. Some of us took an oath when we signed up for the military. Everyone else, the people who enjoy the freedoms that are so easy to take for granted, bear the responsibility from birth to ensure that this great nation does not fall into decay.
  So, Happy Birthday, to each and every one of my brothers and sisters, from the vast East Coast, to the West Coast, up to Alaska, and to Hawaii. Stand tall, and be proud of this great nation. We never needed to be made great again... that is for pessimists and those who wish to take advantage.... we remain great, and will stay that way as long as we work out our differences and remain United.
 In solidarity, I wish you all Love, Peace, Tranquility, and Unity.
 John Zaffino
 Kent Lakes, New York
 4 July, 209174+


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