What is America?
And is America great?
What is America? And is America Great?
This has become one of the biggest questions our generation is facing. Critics from the right insist that America is not great anymore because we are run by a corrupt deep state and must be made great again, critics from the left are trying to tear down our “racist” past. Both perspectives misunderstand what America is.
So, what is America?
First, America is an understanding. An understanding of human nature, that man is flawed, and those flawed men will seek power and corrupt power for their own personal interests. But man is also virtuous. Man will sacrifice himself for others.
Second, America is an idea. An idea that most people are virtuous and can work together to hold those seeking to corrupt power accountable. An idea that self-governance can work.
Third, America is balance. A balance between our individual personal interests and the interests of the people.
So, is America great?
Yes, America is great. It’s great because we have the perfect system of government (our republic) and economy (capitalism) to allow the idea of America to work. But being great is not the same thing as being ok. America is not ok, and America could some help.
When looking back at the past, its easy to misrepresent what America is; and that is what people are doing. They are only telling part of her story; so, they can shape the idea of what America is. Think about your personal story for a minute, have you done things you regret? What if someone only shared your mistakes? The moments when you lost your cool, the moments when you put yourself over others. Is that who you are? Are you proud of those moments? Probably not. But those moments are a part of you, just like they are a part of America. Now, what if someone told your whole story? I bet the idea of who you are comes into focus once all the information is known.
America is us. America is its people. Are we perfect? No. But do we love and work and care? Yes. And so does America.
Is the idea of America working?
Sadly, no. But don’t get down, this isn’t a call that the empire is failing, doomsday is not upon us. We can help America; and we owe her, she has done so much for us. She has provided us a safe place to live and build our families, she has allowed us to pursue happiness and has given us rights that no other country has. She has made mistakes, yes, but she has corrected her mistakes when they are challenged. America listens. America adapts.
So, how can we help?
It starts with believing in America, believing she isn’t racist or corrupt but rather a reflection of us. A mixture of people just trying to provide a better life for our families. Once we start believing in her again, the next step is to get to work. America has worked for so long because we’ve had more great leaders in out government than bad ones, but now the ratio is off, but it can be fixed.
Step one: The responsibility of being informed.
Educate yourself on our history and Government. Mandatory reading includes: The Federalist Papers, the Constitution and at least 1 of the following biographies, Team of Rivals, Washington or Hamilton by Chernow, John Adams by David McCullough, James Madison by Jay Cost or Fredrick Douglas by David W. Blight. Audible books are very helpful for a dad or mom on the go.
After engaging with our past, you’ll need to engage with our present. A couple of tips on how to do that.
A) Be aware of your emotions when reading and sharing news. If you feel stressed or angry when reading a headline, slow down and take the time to read and process the article before deciding to share.
B) Diversify your sources. Take the time to read multiple different perspectives before coming to a conclusion and sharing information.
Step Two: The responsibility of self governance.
Find somewhere to volunteer. I would recommend finding a middle third party start up. Just make sure that whoever you volunteer for is selling you hope instead of fear. Make sure they talk about solutions and not problems. Make sure they are open minded and adaptable.
Step Three: The responsibility of leadership.
Encourage your friends to volunteer. We are led to believe that nothing will change because they have too much money and that’s how it’s always been. But politics isn’t about money, it’s about people. Its about you, the citizen. The more of us engaged in the process, the more of a voice we have. You have more power than you think, you can lead, you can make a difference.
Step Four: The responsibility of making informed decisions.
Find, elect and support better leaders, or become one. Continue to educate ourselves and the next generations, so they don’t make the same mistakes we’ve made.
If we understand America. If we believe in America. We can move sustain America’s greatness for our next generation.
Well done. Keep up the inspirational posts. One voice at a time can make a difference.