What Makes America Great?
Am I the only one who remembers when the words "Great" and "American" went hand in hand? When did this phrase go from being an accepted truth to becoming an oxymoron?
Any of my regular readers will know I am not among the America hating crowd on the left, nor am I a member of the Nationalist movement on the right. I am simply someone who is saddened and disheartened by what my once Great and Proud Nation has become.
The reason I bring this up is that during one of many conversations with Americans around the world, we discussed Thomas Jefferson. He was a great man, despite his humanness and any subsequent flaws he may have had.
What struck me as odd was when I said "Great American:" it produced many raised eyebrows and looks of confusion. It was almost as if the concept of a great American was foreign to these people. No pun intended.
America has contributed a lot to the world. Even today, despite many claims to the contrary, America continues to be a caring and giving nation at its heart. America gives charitable contributions in amounts greater than any other nation on this earth. That is simply the truth and an irrefutable fact.
America’s heart is not the problem. The problem seems to be with American leaders and their (questionable) goals as to what comprises a great America. Whether you are a part of the Socialist crowd on the left, the Nationalist crowd on the right or one of those hopelessly indecisive people sitting on the fence waiting to see which way it leans before you know which ground to stand, the leadership and the partisan bickering is the true heart of America’s problems.
A very common misconception is that America is a Democracy. America is not now, nor has it ever been a Democracy. America was founded as a Constitutional Republic, which was designed to have limited government interference and equally represented with the added benefits of a system of checks and balances from three separate and distinct branches of government. I will never get to my point if I start on about the government though.
America is a country “Of the people, by the people and for the people.” Until the people begin to rise above the government, (Note: I did not say rise AGAINST, but ABOVE) America will continue to be frowned upon by most of the world. The reason so many people around the world are struggling and fighting and some, even breaking the law, to get into the country that “the whole world hates” is actually very simple. America is the only place in the world where an individual can have such a say in how much success they enjoy.
No, not everybody is a Bill Gates or a John Travolta (I never thought I would say his name with respect after Welcome Back Kotter) who will reach a level of fame and fortune that allows them to buy pretty much anything they could ever want, but America does still reward individual effort. If a person is motivated and capable, they still have opportunities in the USA that are not available anywhere else in the world.
I am an American by birth. While I will always love the country I grew up in, and the one I served, I do not like where it is going. I would prefer not to see the Socialists or the Nationalists take over my great country. Until its people become less apathetic and more willing to become an active part of it once again though, it is destined to fall into the hands of those who can buy it and wrap it up.
America is not the problem; Americans are to blame though. We need to remember that it is a country “Of the People, by the People and for the People and take our country back. We do not need career politicians who can be bought, sold and traded like so many corporate assets by lobbyists and PACs.
It is time for some Great Americans to take up the cause and take our country back from the politicians who have brought us here. It is also time for the rest of Americans to wake up and realize apathy will never cure anything. If Americans would stop to think why people are still trying so desperately to get in, and remember the passion and the drive that went into building our great nation, maybe being a “Great American” would be common again, and our nation would not be in the position that it is in now.
“Great” and “American” are synonymous, not an oxymoron that causes people to question the validity and perhaps sanity of the one who says it.
Let us know what you think please!