Here is a standard definition of July 4th:
Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
Now, about those parades - it was recently reported that the smart people at Harvard's JFK School of Government have unearthed the true purpose of July 4th parades. Yes, wasting money and time on the study of parades has produced the conclusion that the patriotism exhibited at July 4th parades produces more Republicans. That's right. July 4th parades are just a nefarious excuse to brainwash innocent children's minds into becoming Republicans when they grow up.
It's ironic because when conservatives accuse liberals of acting less than patriotic, then conservatives are blasted for blind loyalty to country and for arrogance of national pride.
"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. [See political cartoons about the 2012 GOP field.]
"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.
The three key findings of those attending July 4th celebrations:
•When done before the age of 18, it increases the likelihood of a youth identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent.
•It raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for a Republican candidate by 4 percent.
•It boosts the likelihood a reveler will vote by about 1 percent and increases the chances they'll make a political contribution by 3 percent.
The study also concludes that it does no good for Democratic politicians to participate in parades - that there is no political gain for them. Plus, the brainwashing of young minds of mush is permanent in its results.
So, thanks Harvard for confirming what we already knew - that Republicans are not ashamed to show a love of country in public ways. We don't think it makes us nationalistic nazis or brain dead zombies. It means we understand our country's history and are proud of our nation's exceptionalism. No liberal guilt need apply.