We’ve really got to get a grip on the conspiracy theories and political polarization in this nation. From where I sit in The State’s editorial department, I get plenty of emails, letters and calls from people blaming President Obama and the federal government for just about everything that happens.
Common Core? A federal takeover of the education system. Obamacare? A federal takeover of the health-care system. Some people are so paranoid that they practically believe that President Obama wants to personally knock on the door at their homes and confiscate their guns.
Agree or disagree, you can at least see where those folks are coming from, even if they are off base. These are issues of the day, after all.
But a call I got on Monday was about as fringe as you can get: Could it be that the feds want to take over, gulp!, Fourth of July?
When I answered my phone, a gentleman — clearly highly agitated — said he wanted to know why we were celebrating July 4 on June 8. He had been unable to get anyone official to answer to his question so he called the newspaper sure someone here would know.
I told him that I wasn’t sure what he was talking about: Tell me more.
He said that the government was celebrating July 4 with fireworks and other observances on June 28. “Why are we celebrating so early?”
“Who exactly is ‘we?’” I asked.
He said that he lived in Lexington County and that for him encompassed his world.
I told him I wasn’t aware of any big decision to celebrate the Fourth on June 28 but that it wouldn’t surprise me if an observance was held on Saturday, June 28, prior to July 4, which falls on the following Friday. Otherwise, most July 4 celebrations would be held, well, July 4. And, as we know, there are some communities that hold various celebrations leading up to Fourth and on that day.
Then he laid the big one on me. He insisted that something was amiss about any plans to celebrate on June 28:
“Would the federal government make that decision?”
There you have it: a federal government takeover of July 4. That Barack Obama. Has he no shame?