On July 4, we celebrate the day 245 years ago throngs of British citizens led by a handful of brilliant, independent, liberty-loving men and women, declared their independence from a tyrannical king. Now, several generations removed from that incredible revolution, I fear our children and their children may never grasp just how radical—and marvelous—the idea of America was and continues to be.
America has faltered, of course. It's a tricky science, that of running a government, and it has grown bloated, been bought, and morphed into something the founding fathers would never have wanted. This country is full of flawed, selfish people who often instigate and perpetuate the worst of us: racism, riots, crime, abortion, money laundering—you name it; America has it.
It's popular now to cringe at America and what she stands for. It's also increasingly en vogue to scoff at the people who love America too. Liberals argue patriotism too easily gives way to nationalism. Regardless, being patriotic seems too simple and pure for them--best leave chants of "USA! USA!" to Main Street pedestrians.
It's true, America doesn't look like she did in 1776: To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, the great statesman, democracy is hard to keep. He has been proven right. People move naturally towards a state of chaos and call it collectivism. We're seeing it now. A segment of American workers are passing over lower income jobs choosing instead to rely on unemployment income and the stimulus checks President Biden is pumping out. That's just one example—there are hundreds more.
In a year we've seen a national pandemic, an economic crisis and racial chaos imploding American cities. Yes, we've come a long way from "Give me liberty, or give me death!" But that doesn't mean America, the great experiment has failed or that she is now somehow unworthy of our loyalty. Far from it.
Millions of people still try to come to America every year, legally, in search of the American Dream. America still boasts a recovering economy, one that thrives more than she has failed. All but one of the top ten global companies in the world to work for are based or are now located in America.
Where else but America can you start a gig in your garage and turn it into a multi-billion dollar company? This has happened hundreds of times in two centuries. Where else but America can you come here from nothing, with nothing, and become—quite literally—anything you want? The American dream is still alive and well, flourishing even with her flaws.
The late columnist Charles Krauthammer thought America was still the greatest country in the world because while other countries exist based on ethnicities, religions, or forms of power, America thrives still on a lone idea: "America is the only country ever founded on an idea. The only country that is not founded on race or even common history. It's founded on an idea and the idea is liberty. That is probably the rarest phenomena in the political history of the world; this has never happened before. And not only has it happened, but it's worked. We are the most flourishing, the most powerful, most influential country on Earth with this system, invented by the greatest political geniuses probably in human history."
This is why, no matter how many times we experience a year like 2020, full of racial strife, a pandemic, or an economic downturn, I will always love this country: It has allowed anyone who loves liberty to live the life they always wanted. Freedom and our free market has produced creative artists, political talents, business icons, and technology giants. I hate that America is not what she was nor what she could be but neither would I ever want to live anywhere else. Happy Independence Day, America: Long may we be lovers of liberty.
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Remind me in September