This is not the Fourth of July column I planned to write.

My original piece was going to be about how even in this divisive American moment, I am galvanized by the unity we can show as a group when people rise against us. I was going to cite retired Baltimore Olympics phenom Michael Phelps’ reaction to watching an Australian swimmer talk trash about the U.S. swimming team, which made him so angry he seemed ready in that moment to tie an American flag around his neck and jump back in the pool with his polo shirt and man bun.

I was going to say that even when our country is doing things unilaterally hard to defend or facing an upcoming election in which the very tenets of democracy will be tested, sometimes a crisis or a challenge from a common enemy can bring us together. (Kind of like how you can say stuff about your cousin, but woe be to anyone else who tries it.)

At the end of the day, I would write, those of us who really believe in what America claims it’s about in the fine print — if not always in practice — should come together at least until the enemy is vanquished (or, in Phelps’ case, the medals are won).

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But as of the Supreme Court’s decision Monday that presidents have immunity for “official” acts committed in office, I’m sort of unsure what the Fourth of July is about anymore.

This holiday is supposed to commemorate the Declaration of Independence, as in declaring that we are a body beholden to ourselves and not to a king. This ruling, however, is the total opposite of that. So what are the fireworks for? What are we celebrating?

Understand that as a woman who is descended from U.S. chattel slavery, I know that the promises made in said declaration were never meant to include me. And even when they technically have, there has always been an asterisk. (Hello, Jim Crow! What’s up, everybody coming for reproductive and voting rights?) But at least there was a hope that the laws of the land would ultimately be upheld because they were unimpeachable if really enforced.

But on Monday, the court said, “Nah.”

That’s the scary part. While these codified American rights have not been equally applied to everyone, we at least always thought they existed to apply to somebody, right? Like if the right people were there to interpret the rules, we had a chance.

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But when the new rule is, “Those are no longer the rules,” there is nothing stopping anyone from becoming a king. From having their opponents murdered. From outlawing anyone who doesn’t agree with them to vote.

Those Founding Fathers whose faces we put on ads to sell mattresses and discounted potato salad for our cookouts today would be aghast. And it’s not like I’m wholeheartedly defending those cats, because they also would be aghast that I can vote and am not contractually obligated to pick their crops. But those men had a plan that was at least aspirational for the nation and gave the rest of us something to fight for.

But now maybe it doesn’t exist at all.

Here’s the moment where those who support what the court just ruled hope that the rest of us stop fighting, that we stop voting, that we just give in. We’re not going to do that. I know it seems hopeless and maybe it is. But there’s still work to do, votes to make, columns to write. Battles to wage.

Do I wish that this was a fun piece about Phelps getting his umbrage up against some snotty Aussie who didn’t wind up making the team anyway? You’re damn right I do. But if we’re that mad about trash-talking Olympians, we have to stay this mad when our very essence is being stripped away.

We hold these truths to be self-evident.