Patriotism in the Midst of Potential

As the votes are being cast on this important day, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention something that's been bugging me for some time.

Whenever I want to feel better about being an American, I usually watch the work of David E. Kelley or Aaron Sorkin. A good Alan Shore rant on Boston Legal or a fast paced White House walk & talk on The West Wing fills my lungs with patriotic air. You see, I'm getting tired of republicans claiming they can take all the American glory for themselves.

I love America. I love it for what it is and for the potential it has. I love its constitution that brings balance between the people and the government. I love the progress it has made in such a short time for such a country. I love its great diversity. I know that when the first Tuesday of November rolls around, I get to say something about it. I know when I speak my mind through my written word or with the people I see everyday, I can do it like no place else.

Despite its flaws a nation can emerge from economic depression with the guidance of a wheelchair-bound man. Despite its flaws, an enslaved people can find freedom and opportunity after generations. Despite its flaws it manages to function through its corruption. It can be benefactors to the world and from time to time its own people.

America is a great nation. It is by no means perfect. It often believes that might is right. Yet, there is much that this nation can change. There is much this nation can improve. It is still growing. It is still finding a way to deal with its turbulent past. It is still recognizing that the rest of the globe cannot be trounced upon. It is still realizing that the infrastructure is benefiting the few and casting aside the needs of the many. We have a great deal of work to do in America, but sometimes it is the progress we make at this work that makes America so great.

When we are able to fight in our courts for the sake of fairness, I see the greatness of America. When we are able to ensure that the next generation receives more than the last one, I see the greatness of America. When we are able to overcome the biases around us to see the true potential in people whether it be to employ a felon or elect a president, I see the greatness of America.

America is great because of its spirit. It is great because of its people. It is great because of its potential. It constantly reaches for greatness and this drive inspires the 300 million citizens who call this country home. This drive is a beacon to people across the planet, people doing all they can to come here and glean from our idealism and opportunities.

This is the America I see everyday, even when bad things happen. This is the America that God has shown me. I am proud to be an American, even when there are others who do not agree with me and think otherwise of me. They see the social policy of FDR and the revised tax codes of Obama as socialism but I know that our economy has always been socio-capitalist. They see the loss of American values but I see individualism as the greatest of American values. They see a nation that rewards hard work for the sake of fairness while I see a nation that does all it can to strive for both.

There are some who may be pessimistic about this country. There are some who find it has done too much harm to its own people and especially the citizens of the world to be redeemed. I think these are people who really need to look on the brighter sides. I think these people need get give America a second, third, or fourth look. I think there are good and bad aspects of this nation but the goodness will always shine through. The sweatshop labor in the Pacific Isles will end one day and in the meantime, forward thinking individuals will purchase fair trade goods. We may one day stop buying diamonds in exchange for the lives of Africans. We may stop interfering with Colombian goods and just let them sell their cocoa plants and oil.

I don't know the turn this nation will take definitively, but I know good will come eventually. In the meantime, I will continue to love my nation. I will continue to be the good, fair minded America I believe I should be. If this nation has disappointed you, maybe its citizens can make up for it. That's another great thing about it: the people can make all the difference.


Liisa said…
Yeah, this is the land of a million possibilities. Or should I say billion possibilities.
I hope the new president won't mess it up because I'd like to go there. Somewhere in the future.

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