I once looked forward to the Fourth of July. Of course, I once believed in the Easter Bunny. Lately, it seems the independence that defined this great nation is as mythical as that Easter egg laying rabbit.

Our Founding Fathers would not recognize America today: They would emerge from their graves to find an over-governed nation lacking in unity, purpose or hope.

The America we once knew and revered is gone, lost amid discord, lingering hate and political agendas that put greed and control above what is best for the nation and its people.

The notion of a government of the people, for the people and by the people died long ago. America today is controlled by fatcat lobbyists, powerful communications moguls and politicians who personal ambitions outweigh their love of country.

We’ve become a nation where the President of the United States decides who runs the nation’s largest automobile company, a nation where phone calls are monitored and our every move in captured by an ever-growing army of video cameras and monitoring equipment. Every day, the government monitors our finances, our travels and our habits. The government feels it has a right to know our health information, our gun-buying habits and whether or not we watch porno movies on DirecTV.

We laughingly try to export democracy to other countries when, in reality, we do not have true democracy here at home.  We should be charged with false advertising.

In many ways, we did it to ourselves. In the primary elections last month, just 3.5 percent of Floyd County’s eligible voters turned out to vote. A public hearing on the county’s budget brought out only a handful of people.

Maybe we no longer care what happens to a once-great nation called America. For the first time in my life, I’m wondering if I do. On this 4th of July, I’ll probably climb on my motorcycle and find a lonely back road to ride for the day.

Tonight, some will gather at the high school to watch the fireworks. Others will climb a hilltop on Thunderstruck Road to watch more.

But are they attending a celebration or a wake?

I wonder.