America by Maggie’s Bear of Bear’s Rant

The United States is one, if not ‘the’, most democratic nations on earth. It seems to be in perpetual election mode, with congressional elections every two years. But I don’t want to write about the American system of government or even democracy, I want to write about a part of the United States that too many of my American friends seem to have forgotten lately.

There is a lot of anger, fear and frustration about the economy, politics and various social issues in the United States right now. Much of it is justified but the level of rhetoric has become extreme in many cases and has resulted in a denigration of its own institutions and accomplishments. I want to remind my American friends, and I have many, of a couple of things they seem to have lost sight of recently.

There is a lot of anger, fear and frustration about the economy, politics and various social issues in the United States right now. Much of it is justified but the level of rhetoric has become extreme in many cases and has resulted in a denigration of its own institutions and accomplishments. I want to remind my American friends, and I have many, of a couple of things they seem to have lost sight of recently.

No country has more freedom than the United States. Whether it is the right to free speech or to speak out against the government, Americans are free to express themselves in ways that make the politically correct cringe and dictators call in their armies in other countries. They are free to come and go as they please, to vote, to pursue their lives as they see fit and to participate or not in any and all democratic institutions. They’re even free to protest, somewhat aggressively at times, their government and its policies.

I don’t always agree with what is being said or how it is being said but I admire the freedom and how aggressively Americans protect it. But there is something else that I think is even more important to remember about Americans.

They are among the most innovative and generous people in the world.

I can already hear the anti-American bias rising in many who won’t agree with that statement but it is no less true. It is America that has been at the forefront of almost all of the key things that touch our daily lives.

The American entertainment industry, particularly its movies and music are global in their influence. Even those who dislike the U.S. listen to some American music and American fashion from Levis to Prada are sold and copied around the world.

It is America that was at the forefront of the exploration of space, the first to land on the moon and is leading the way in the exploration of Mars. Along with that came the development of new technologies now being used in medicine, computers and a host of other industries by companies and organizations globally.

 

It is also Americans who are first to put aside political differences to help others as they proved again this past week when the American Navy rescued Iranian sailors from pirates. Contrast that with the Iranians arresting an American visiting his grandmother in Iran and sentencing him to death for spying.

It is the United States that the world turns to in times of great challenge and uncertainty be it a natural disaster or economic crisis. Even now, with all of the economic issues facing the world, including the U.S., the global bond market is betting with its wallet that it is the United States that is the best chance the world has of turning the global economy around.

Still, for all of that, there are many who prefer to criticize America, including many Americans themselves and not always without reason. America is far from perfect and has made many mistakes. Guantanamo was and continues to be a blight on the American ideal and its obsession with security borders on extreme.

Nonetheless, America is still a great country that has accomplished great things and I admire it for those accomplishments. But, it is the people that I admire more.

Companies like Apple, Ford and Microsoft which pioneered some of the most commonly used technologies are American as is the world’s largest corporation, GE.

The United States has some of the world’s finest universities including Harvard, Yale, Brigham Young and Princeton and its medical institutions like the Mayo Clinic have consistently developed new breakthroughs in medical science and treatment.

It has the world’s largest standing army and yet is basically a peaceful nation. It does not invade other countries to acquire new territory but is quick to come to the aid of those who have been invaded. Unlike other nations with large militaries, America did not build theirs by subjugating its people and leaving them to live in poverty and political oppression. There is a stark difference between North Korea, the former Soviet Union and the United States.

It is even quicker to come to the aid of those whose lives have been devastated by natural disasters like tsunamis and hurricanes and routinely spends billions on foreign aid and special assistance to countries struggling to recover from a disaster.

It is the United States that the world turns to in times of great challenge and uncertainty be it a natural disaster or economic crisis. Even now, with all of the economic issues facing the world, including the U.S., the global bond market is betting with its wallet that it is the United States that is the best chance the world has of turning the global economy around.

Still, for all of that, there are many who prefer to criticize America, including many Americans themselves and not always without reason. America is far from perfect and has made many mistakes. Guantanamo was and continues to be a blight on the American ideal and its obsession with security borders on extreme.

Nonetheless, America is still a great country that has accomplished great things and I admire it for those accomplishments. But, it is the people that I admire more.

Americans by and large are brash, fiercely independent, sometimes obnoxious in the expression of their beliefs and often self-absorbed by all things American. Having said that, Americans are also generous, family-oriented, good-natured, enterprising and optimistic. They have the ability to laugh at themselves, take pride in their country, their communities and their families. Most are spiritual and if not all Americans are tolerant, most are when push comes to shove. Sometimes, I think they forget that about themselves.

Lately, there has been a great deal of highly divisive debate in the United States, some of it quite ugly and I simply wanted to remind my American friends of who they are. They aren’t called the “United” States by accident. They are a nation that has always accomplished great things when they were united behind a common cause or ideal.

There is much to criticize in the U.S. as in other countries but there is much to admire as well and I think my American friends should stop for a moment and take a break from suspicion, fear and anger with each other to remember who they are and what they have accomplished.

They are a great people with a successful nation. If it has challenges to meet today, they will be met by a people that knows how to come together to face them. I believe Americans will do that. They always have in the past and I believe when they remember again who they are, they will in the future.

And so to my friends south of the border, a gentle reminder to remember who you are and that which made you a great nation. You are not simply Republicans or Democrats, the 1% or the 99%, you are “We the people” and you are never stronger or better than when you remember that. The things that divide you are not as important as that one thing that unites you and that you share in common…you are Americans and there is great strength of purpose in that simple fact.

I wish you well.

This Old Marine wishes to thank Maggie’s Bear for permission to repost this….Semper Fi

Source: A Bear’s Rant http://bearsrant.blogspot.com/2012/01/america.html

About Old Marine

I was a Vietnam Vet, before being one was popular. After serving 14 years in the Marines, attended college and earned degrees in Chemistry and Geology. Currently working as both for a state agency. @OldMarine1 on Twitter.
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