This is an optimistic essay. I believe every word of it. We have earned optimism and hope, and we need to remember why. Anyone can see the waves of fear encompassing our country, but there is no reason to let fear overshadow our better angels. I don’t believe we are perfect. I cry for our failings and then I listen to my better angels telling me to fix them. Because we all try to fix ourselves, I believe our country is one of the best world leaders we’ve ever seen.
Why do you love America?
I love America because we always try to make ourselves better. I love America because we are constantly trying to achieve our ideals: all people are created equal, should be treated as equal, and must be given every opportunity to thrive.
Don’t believe me? Do you have a picture of your great grandparents? Think about their lives. They likely faced polio and infant deaths and hunger and milk mixed with chalk and no electricity and a very basic reading ability. Here’s the crazy thing: they were doing better than their parents. Piece by piece, we are getting rid of disease and malnutrition and bad education. By our own ingenuity or God’s will, we are destroying the barriers that randomly extinguish a person’s ability to be the best they can be.
The United States has seen centuries of improvement. It’s not constant, and it’s not predetermined. We butt heads and argue because we care so much. It’s how we have always fought for improvement. We have to remember that sometimes progress slows, as it has for the past decade. But it hasn’t stopped, and we know we have the foundation to move forward again. 250 years of history tells us so.
We have improved: if you are liberal, you can point to same sex marriage, anti-miscegenation laws being a thing of the past, civil rights, improved education, improved health and so much more over the past 50 years.
We have improved: if you are conservative, you can point to our ingenuity exemplified in so many ways. We have improved transportation, a wealth of knowledge available to anyone with an internet connection, an improving business sector (don’t believe me? Go look it up), less violence, fewer murders, and a host of other technologies that improve our self reliance.
We’ve been so busy trying to fix ourselves, that we’ve forgotten to be proud of ourselves too. The second we forget why we are great, we tear ourselves apart and turn ourselves inside out trying to start from scratch or reverse our progress to a fabled better time. We don’t need to start from scratch or go backwards. We are better than we were. We still need change and we don’t need a strong man to do it for us. We need our strength, our voice, our will to change things. We’re a democracy. We can be great without Trump. We are great. We can find a leader who will listen to our struggles and our hopes; who will reflect our strength and desire to fix ourselves.
We don’t need radical change. We have a lot to be proud of. For every flaw you see, remember: our history tells us that we can and will make it better. We are strong. We are innovators.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all (men and women) are created equal.” This is our history. This is our strength and who we are. Embrace it. Help us continue to make progress toward equal opportunity for all.
Why do you love America? Tell the world.