American flag flying at home

This Fourth of July, we must stand together

What to the frightened American is the Fourth of July? We are a week removed from a disturbing debate that confirmed our worst fears about this year’s election. On Monday, the Supreme Court essentially made the president a king. And yesterday, the Heritage Foundation basically threatened us Americans with bloodshed if we didn’t submit to their Project 2025 and planned theocratic dictatorship. We mark the 248th anniversary of our independence with little to celebrate.

What’s really happening is people of my demographic are facing dangers most other Americans have faced since our nation’s founding. The wolves have now come to our door. And if you side with the billionaires and religious fanatics because they attack those who give you the ick, remember they’ll eventually come after you. The ravenous appetites of the greedy and hateful can never be satisfied. When they have no one left to destroy, they’ll destroy each other.

We can’t let them do that. And the first step in stopping them is for us to stand together.

We’ve been played for so long by the divide-and-conquer tactics of politicians and media that we refuse to see the humanity of each other. We don’t see how our problems are the same as the family with the Trump lawn signs down the street, the immigrant family in the neighboring town, or the people on the other side of the country. And the challenges we all face can only be resolved by working together. Community has enabled us to survive all the difficult things we’ve faced in the past, from great depressions to world wars. It’s the only thing that will get us through the crisis we’re in today.

It will be hard when there’s so much money to be made from division—from those selling oversized flags profanely attacking political opponents to the cable news channels and late-night comedy shows hoping their ratings during a second Trump term will be as good as the first.

That’s where we as authors need to step in. We need to offer a vision of a better world, depict the humanity of different groups of people, and tell stories where courage and compassion defeats greed and cruelty. When the voices of division are loud, we need to be louder.

But as all Americans, we can show our unity by flying our flag. That’s why I put out ours like we do on every Fourth of July and other national holidays. I refuse to let the flag I’ve pledged allegiance to since childhood, worn on my Boy Scout uniforms, and stood at attention for during the National Anthem be turned into another sign of division.

America is my home. It’s where I grew up. It’s where I built my career. It’s where I formed a family. It’s my culture, heritage, and identity. I’ll be damned if I leave. And if America falls to tyranny, there will be no safe place for us to go.

We need to fight for our country. We can do it by standing and working together.