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  • Writer's pictureEmily Duke Hargan

Monday Updates: It's up to you America

Happy Monday, Bourbon & Politics friends! We hope your week is off to a good start and that you and your family took advantage of the warmer weather and the opportunity to get out and enjoy your community.

Consider these two news items today...

~ All eyes on Seattle & CHAZ. Seattle has seen over two weeks of protesting in the wake of the death of George Floyd, and last week a group of protestors seized a six block area in downtown declaring themselves a "homeland for racial justice". This situation in Seattle has been much hyped in the media but let's be clear and not conflate the situation — CHAZ is not a commune or a utopia. It is not an official declaration of independence from the United States. It is a protest and an occupation. The protestors in CHAZ want reforms — to the education system, for better health care, to the criminal justice system and they want to abolish the Seattle Police Department.

Both the left and the right have agreed that reforms should be put in place and that respect for our fellow Americans in paramount. How we accomplish this will take civility and compromise — and we should be watching these protestors in CHAZ and the leaders in Seattle to see if they are willing to do the right thing and be honest brokers. We are in this together and change can only take place when we are willing to step outside that box we occupy.

~ Health vs. Health. It is true that some states have seen a spike positive coronavirus case rates. This is a result of a number of reasons — increased testing capacity, loosening of lockdown restrictions, Memorial Day weekend etc. However, another health concern looms. Depression. One of the terrible, more lesser known, side-effect of the coronavirus pandemic is that people have become so isolated that they are becoming sick. Studies have shown that loneliness has been linked to all kinds of cognitive decline and can lead to other disorders such a heightened stress and anxiety.

Social distancing can and has had sever ramifications on the mental health of many Americans. During a time when establishing a routine, seeking out friends, and getting support is critical, we are being cautioned to limit our interactions. Some doctors have even called the coronavirus and the lockdown a 'perfect storm' for mental health problems.

For some, the risks of isolation and social distancing far outweigh the risk of coronavirus. How do we help them?

The American Revolution: The Birth of American Exceptionalism

Last week, we announced that we would be writing a new series this summer on American Exceptionalism and what unites us in our shared American experience. We have gotten some awesome feedback and we are excited to begin writing.

The American Revolution, is the birth of American exceptionalism. The war for our independence was not a social or economic war but a political one. A war fought for freedom. So from the very beginning, America was exceptional because it was founded on an idea...liberty.

The Founding Fathers didn't just paint broad strokes when they penned the Declaration of Independence. They expressly articulated several American ideals — freedom from an unreasonable government, the right to choose an independent path, an equal chance to have fulfilling and many others — that still define who we are today.

As George Washington put it in his First Inaugural Address: “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” America’s role in the world is to preserve and to spread, by example and by action, the “sacred fire of liberty.”

We hope that this series on American exceptionalism will help you understand how important it truly is to preserve that "sacred fire of liberty".

Father's Day: American Style

This coming Sunday is Father's Day. We've curated a list that Dad can be proud of — gifts from you, Made in America.

~ Fun Outdoor Games from LL Bean

~ Grooming Products from Caveman Apothecary

~ Wooden Flags & other products from Flags of Valor (veteran owned & operated)

~ Sweet Tobacco Candle from The Chesapeake Bay Company

~ Shinola Father's Day Collection

And of course, don't forget to get Dad a nice bottle of bourbon. We recommend the straight bourbon whiskey from Woodford Reserve


In closing, this week we encourage you to think about how you would work to solve the problems in CHAZ and how you would help those who are isolated and depressed because of the lockdowns. The gulf is ever-widening now in this country but we are capable of rising to the challenges we face. These are the times when we should be motivated to a higher calling — one the Founding Fathers knew Americans aspired to.

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