America the Great

By: Guest Authors

By:Kevin Hilliker

Since the beginning of mankind, many a child has wished for cooler parents. They want to stay out as late as all of the other kids. They don’t understand why their parents demand A’s, while their friends’ parents are content with C’s. They believe that if only they were permitted to watch all of the trendy shows and listen to the most popular music, they would finally be just like everyone else. When they are not allowed to go to unsupervised parties or have to check in with mom and dad every few hours, they say to their pals with a shrug “You know my parents are crazy.” They often stress to their schoolmates that they are not like their silly, unenlightened parents. Of course, these children eventually grow up. When they are old enough to see what becomes of the kids with the cool parents, they realize how foolish they had been. The rules and structure that made them different as a child, are what made them successful as adults. The United States of America is different then any other nation. We have a distinct set of values and a unique Bill of Rights. We also have an unparalleled quality of life. The President has wrapped up his international apology tour. He at times seemed ashamed of the very things that make us Americans. He went to great lengths to show that he was not like the other silly presidents. True we stick out like a sore thumb in the world, but I would like to take a minute to list a few of the reasons why we should be proud of our home.

* Our roots as a Christian nation-This is the one that seems to shame some of our citizens the most. The fact is, our founding fathers’ belief in God is the single biggest factor in the success of our nation. The premise that our rights were given to us by our Creator and not by our government is the foundation of our Constitution. The early churches in this country set up schools, charities, and hospitals. This belief system is what makes us a culture that celebrates life. Even today, the attitudes that define the American spirit are deeply rooted in Christianity.
* The Constitution-The founders covered all the bases. It is unique in that it was written during the birth of a nation, not after a regime change or an economic collapse. The authors were capable of defining the responsibilities and the boundaries of the new government from day one. For the time in which it was written, the language is incredibly simple. It is a clear cut defense of individual freedom. Instead of the state coming up with a list of things the people are allowed to do, this is a list of things we the people allow the government to do on our behalf.
* Capitalism-I know we are going through some rough economic times. I know our free-market system keeps getting the blame. I don’t believe that capitalism, is in any way, responsible for what we face now, in fact I think too much government is the biggest problem. Whichever way you look at it, our economic system has allowed us to become the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world. (In less than 250 years!) It is a system that encourages innovation, hard work, risk taking, and persistence. We are blessed to have a system that actually rewards positive moral characteristics.
* Our generosity- No other nation gives more than we do. The United States sends aid to many poverty stricken countries (even ones that aren’t particularly fond of us). We give money for medical treatments, food, clean water, and disaster relief. Our churches send missionaries to some of the most dangerous regions in the world. We have countless non-profit organization dedicated to helping those who need it most.
* Technological Might-Thanks to the free-market system, America is a leader in new technology. Our technological development enable us to enjoy greater strength and efficiency in fields such as medicine, farming, electronics, communications, and the military. Thanks to these advancements in the U.S., the whole world is better off.
* We protect the weak- The U.S. has come to the rescue of many peoples over the years. Sometimes through diplomacy or sanctions, and sometimes through the military. We may not always succeed in protecting everyone who needs us, but we try our best to be a force for good in the world.
* Self criticism- We have some serious black marks on record such as slavery, but we own our mistakes. Most other nations omit whole periods of history or try to rationalize their past indiscretions. We are constantly examining both our past and present behavior. If anything, we tend to be a little too hard on ourselves. We strive to be the best and this means admitting to the times in which we have failed.
* Free speech- Where else could Rush Limbaugh, Perez Hilton, Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, and Bill Maher all have thriving careers? I know some times we can’t stand the other guy, but robust debate is good for our individual minds and society as a whole. Free speech is also the single best way to keep our elected officials in line.
* The Second Amendment- What could be more fundamentally important than our right to defend ourselves from intruders and those that would do us harm? I’ve heard it said that “The Second Amendment exists in case the government ignores all the others”. Nuff said.

Now that we have the big ones out of the way, here are a few uniquely American pleasures.

* Walmart-Yep, I said it. I know it’s trendy to hate Walmart, but it has done some really good things for us. Walmart keeps prices competitive for those of us who must bargain shop. Let’s face it, where else are you going to get a loaf of bread, a Barbie doll, a lamp, and a rifle case? You know you love it, it’s OK to admit it.
* Movies-Sure there are a few great foreign films, but not too many. Most of them are either so incredibly dull or bizarre I can’t wait for the movie to end. For those of us who aren’t trying to impress anyone, there is nothing like a good old American cinema.
* Fad Diets- We have enough food that we have actually forgotten how not to be overweight.
* Snuggie- You know you’re doing well when people have money to spend on a blanket with sleeves.
* Cuisine-From fast food to French delicacies, we have access to just about anything your palate desires.
* Single family dwellings-As the single family dwelling becomes increasingly rare in other areas, I am thankful that even in public housing developments no one has to share a bathroom with strangers.
* American football, basketball, baseball- We love sports in the U.S., especially the ones we created.
* Music-Motown, country, bubble gum pop, jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and disco. We have it all.

There are so many great inventions that came from the U.S. of A. that I can’t even begin to list them. We have a lot to be proud of. Our President was raised by a single mother and has one of the greatest success stories ever told. Is he really ashamed of us? Is he embarrassed to be a citizen of the nation once famously described as “a shining city upon a hill?” Just as children eventually grow up to recognize that all of the “unfair” rules their parents placed upon them shaped them into upstanding adults, I hope President Obama will realize that the things that make us unique as Americans gave him the opportunity to become the leader of the free world. We should be proud of our distinct values and traditions. We should embrace them. After all, do we really want to be like everyone else in the world?

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