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Jewish World Review July 2, 2004 / 13 Tamuz, 5764

Tom Purcell

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Consumer Reports

If Michael Moore Explained July 4th to Children | Q: Dear Mr. Moore, why do we celebrate the Fourth? (Billy Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio)

A: Dear Billy, we celebrate the Fourth because it was one of the first wars in which rich white colonists actually defeated other white people, as opposed to the mindless slaughter of the Indigenous Americans.

Q: But Mr. Moore, I thought the Fourth had to do with our successful fight for independence from Great Britain? (Bobby Smith, Pittsburgh, PA)

A: Hey, Bobby, you're partly right. The colonists fought a series of bloody battles with Great Britain because they didn't like paying taxes. But high taxes didn't affect average Joes like you and me, Billy. They affected the rich, so the rich sold a big lie to the people to get us into a war with the British, who only wanted more money to take care of the poor. And when we fought the Brits, it was the poor who died, while the rich relaxed in their mansions. Just like today.

Q: But Mr. Moore, I thought the fight for American independence was the result of most every American longing to be free? Isn't that why we created the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776? (Suzy Long, Omaha, Nebraska)

A: Dear, Suzy, your father is a Republican, isn't he. Look, it was the rich white people who fabricated the need for this war. They paid off their Congressmen, a bunch of other rich white men, to push it along. Then Thomas Jefferson, a rich slave owner, drafted a document now called the Declaration of Independence. This document helped the rich white men lie to the people and convince them that war was necessary.

Q: But Mr. Moore, I thought the Declaration of Independence was a great symbol of American freedom? Weren't these rich people you talk about were willing to risk everything they owned in order to gain freedom for all the colonists? (Amy Moore, Madison, Wisconsin)

A: Amy, Amy, Amy. You've been listening to too much Rush Limbaugh. Such alleged "patriots" advance the lie that the Declaration of Independence was created to give the people a document that spelled out what was and was not important to America's values. Let me say it again: it was a tool of rich white men designed to get the poor to fight and die for their wealth.

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Q: But Mr. Moore, aren't there some very powerful words in the Declaration? It says this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." No document in the history of man ever said such a thing. (Jarrod Planitzer, Slippery Rock, PA)

A: Jarrod, Jarrod, Jarrod, equality my eye! Most of the wealth was, and is, concentrated in the hands of a few. And you really think we have liberty in America, what with the government pulling our rights out from under us faster than you can say help? What rights are there for those people who are fighting in Iraq because our leaders lied to get us into yet another war to advance the interests of the rich? Give me a break, Jarrod.

Q: Gee, Mr. Moore, I thought the Fourth of July was a time to celebrate our patriotism, to celebrate the overwhelming success of the American experiment. Sure, we have a lot of problems still. But isn't it obvious to you that freedom works and that we ought to encourage its spread to every corner of the earth for the benefit of everyone? (Mary Hyde, Baltimore, MD)

A: Mary, Mary, Mary. The job of a true patriot is to exploit every perceived weakness of his president during wartime in order to defeat him (even if it emboldens our enemies and causes more of our own to die). I can't believe the malarkey they are teaching you in school these days.

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© 2004 Tom Purcell