‘The Grand Old American Pastime Of Blowing Things Up’

There’s something connecting the American spirit with the love of blowing things up. We shoved dynamite into mountains to lay train tracks across the continent. We created rockets powerful enough to shoot men into space.

In evil hands, explosives are a formidable means of taking human life, making it all the more important for the arsenals of democracy to hold such evildoers to account. But in judicious hands, the ability to blow things up represents Americans’ fearless legacy of harnessing the powers of nature in the pursuit of innovation.

We are a people who grew up testing the limits of nature, inventing ways to overcome those limits, and shaping the world as a result. Our national personality has always enjoyed the smells of gasoline and black powder. They represent our people’s movement — our restless enterprise and determination to build.

Not only has blowing stuff up resulted in monumental victories for the protection of freedom abroad and for American industry at large, it’s also a familiar tool in the American home.

And of course, we enjoy hurling loud, brilliant explosions into the sky on any holiday we can — especially Independence Day.

Elle Reynolds is an assistant editor at The Federalist

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