When I'm tempted to let pessimism and cynicism get the best of me, though, I just think to myself, WWJD?
"What was Jefferson doing" when he penned the Declaration of Independence, and "Who was Jefferson dissing" when he did so? Looking back on it now, most of the grievances seem rather antiquated and a few actually sound a bit petty. If you stand back, and take in the entire document, you see that almost all the particulars are really just a way of demonstrating the absurdity of monarchy without democratic accountability. Life, liberty, and prosperity are our axiomatic values, shoving off the yoke of autocracy is only the first step in making those abstractions into practical realities for all Americans, and eventually, everyone else.
Granted, revolutionary war should be a painful last resort, but some things really are worth fighting and killing for:
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
On that note, here's wishing you all a happy 4th -- now let's go blow some stuff up!