July 4, 2006
America is the longest existing democracy, or constitutional republic, in history. Born 230 years today, it is the political equivalent of a long and successful marriage. There are too few of those these days.
America has always been an idea in pursuit of an ideal. That we have never completely achieved the ideal does not diminish the idea.
It may be my imagination, but have you heard as much criticism of America as I have in the past year? I hear it from the European media, especially the BBC. I hear it from war protestors and people who seem to find nothing good about our country. But one thought keeps coming back to me: if it is that bad, why would people who feel this way want to continue living here? And why would so many immigrants – legal and illegal – want to come here? What do they know that we seem to have forgotten?
We’re not perfect, but we’re a lot better that what any other country has to offer. As the old patriotic song goes: “hats off to America, the home of the free and the brave; if this is flag-waving, do you know of a better flag to wave?” I don’t. Happy 230th birthday America and may you have many more.
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