The Great Fireworks Rebellion of 2020

If Donald Trump’s Independence Eve address at Mount Rushmore was a battle cry for the republic, millions of Americans seemingly joined forces with the president the next evening with their own sort of ammunition: fireworks.

Lockdown orders and “social distancing” decrees canceled official Fourth of July fireworks displays across the country—the latest in a long list of cruelties inflicted on the public to suffocate freedom and joy—but fed-up patriots from sea to shining sea were having none of it. 

Families and friends gathered in defiance of government bans on well-attended gatherings to celebrate our nation’s founding. Then, as the sun set, Americans lit up the skies with red, white, and blue bursts of pride in a not-so-subtle rebuke of leftist mobs intent on destroying our nation’s past, present, and future.

A news helicopter in Los Angeles captured one spectacular sight. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of pyrotechnics exploded above the city’s skyline in a loud, colorful middle finger to Mayor Eric Garcetti, who had closed public beaches and prohibited the use of fireworks as well as instructed his 4 million constituents not to congregate with anyone outside of their household in the futile fight to “stop” the spread of coronavirus. Angelenos responded by launching an “overwhelming” number, one reporter observed, of contraband fireworks; residents were warned not to call 911 to report the illegal celebrations because police couldn’t keep up.

Americans across the country acted similarly as social media accounts noted an uptick in fireworks activity from previous years. 

Fireworks stores and wholesalers reported unprecedented sales. One Indianapolis-based company reported a 300 percent increase in sales, leading to a “crazy, record-breaking year.” There was more anecdotal evidence: Singer Katy Perry tweeted that her 2012 song, “Firework,” was No. 33 on the iTunes hit list, its highest ranking in eight years.

Obviously, families and neighborhoods organized their own displays to replace banned community celebrations, but it also was a statement—the lovers of the country are not going to be silenced by the haters. 

For every sycophantic Facebook post honoring Black Lives Matter, there is a new handgun purchase or a new Tucker Carlson viewer or a new fireworks aficionado. The saboteurs in charge of Big Tech, Hollywood, and academia are running headlong into a growing counterinsurgency of regular Americans who won’t go down without a fight even if, for now, it’s in the form of colored roman candles. Silent skies and compliant citizens on July 4 would have been an ominous sign; instead, we let freedom ring.

The 2020 election won’t be a national debate about policy; it won’t center around the likeability of the major candidates or if a bleach-bit email server is a bigger disqualification for the Oval Office than a few failed marriages and an embarrassing tape recording from a decade ago. The election will determine whether we keep the country we have, or lose it to the powerful interests attempting to pull us asunder. 

Anyone paying attention knows that’s not hyperbole; the risk is real, and it’s not certain that another Trump term will be enough to delay what might be inevitable.

The contrast between the two presidential candidates’ holiday weekends could not have been starker. The president took off from South Dakota at midnight East Coast time on Friday, arriving back in Washington a few hours before dawn. He and the First Lady participated in another full day of celebration on July 4, including a Salute to America event at the White House, which was lit up in red, white, and blue.

Biden, on the other hand, couldn’t manage to emerge from his basement bunker to meet with Americans or even deliver a prepared speech to a select group of supporters. His campaign posted a pre-recorded video filled with the sort of shameful race-baiting that would make Al Sharpton proud. If there was any doubt the Democrats are fueling a deadly, destructive race war to win power in November, Biden’s video erased it. In the introduction, Biden condemned Thomas Jefferson as falling short of American ideals for owning slaves and “excluding women,” but George Floyd received a nice cameo while Biden mourned how Floyd’s “murder” proved the existence of “systemic racism” in the country. Lots of pictures of Black Lives Matters protestors; no photos of the American flag.

In a tweet the next day, Biden made this promise: “We’re going to beat Donald Trump. And when we do, we won’t just rebuild this nation—we’ll transform it.”

If he appeared to be on the ropes a few weeks ago, understandably weary from dealing with impeachment, the double-whammy of coronavirus and economic collapse, and the intensifying race war—a period of nonstop calamity that would have buckled nearly any other president—Trump likely rebounded over the weekend. The media desperately tried to spin the Mount Rushmore speech as a failure, a sure sign it was a success. Democrats continue to show Americans their contempt for our history and Founders: Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a rumored potential Biden running mate, said she supports a “national dialogue” about the removal of statues honoring historical figures, including George Washington, and accused the president of “talking about dead traitors.”

In his exceptional column Monday, American Greatness writer Eric Lendrum accurately described this year’s election as the “Civil War Election.” 

“Now it is beyond clear, as articulated by both candidates, that only one party truly loves our country, while the other is ashamed of it,” Lendrum wrote. “One party is campaigning on building on the past to create an even more glorious future, while the other seeks to tear down what we have already built so that we can start from scratch. Not since the election of 1860 has there been such a complete polarization between the two rival factions in American politics.”

Some might object that only Democratic leaders, and not rank-and-file Democrats, are ashamed of the country. But that’s not the case. According to a Gallup survey last week, only 22 percent of Democrats are “extremely proud” to be an American—an all-time low and a whopping 34 points lower than the results from 2013. Seventy-six percent of Republicans are “extremely proud” to be an American, a 10-year high. America’s subversives are right next door. 

Whether it’s tea or bus seats, fed-up Americans find a way to let those in power know when enough is enough. It could be that the Fireworks Rebellion of 2020 was the shot heard ‘round the country that signaled the defenders of America are paying attention—and unwilling to tolerate much more.

About Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Want news updates?

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.