Five Reasons to Love America

Here are five reasons to love America taken from the essay 10 Reasons to Love America.

5. Generosity
With great wealth comes great generosity. In 2000, Americans gave more than $200 billion in charity, dwarfing the amount donated elsewhere. Since World War II, the U.S. government has given well in excess of $500 billion (not adjusted for inflation) in foreign aid. Last year, our government distributed more than $20 billion to 130 countries. While American taxpayers have a right to gripe, what are we to make of foreign beneficiaries who return our favor by burning U.S. flags and chanting “death to America”?

4. Enlightened
PowerThe Soviet Empire ruled over Eastern Europe. The Ottoman Empire claimed dominion over vast stretches of the Islamic world. The Empire of the Sun sought dominion over the Orient. The American Empire rules…only Americans. America is an historical curiosity. It is the most powerful country in the world, yet it eschews imperialism. Instead, it has used its military might to liberate. Nazi Germany, North Korea, Soviet Russia, Hussein’s Iraq, and Communist Vietnam are among the nefarious states we sought to prevent from increasing their totalitarian control over others. The world is a better place because America, and not some other country, is the sole superpower.

3. Medicine
Will Nigerian doctors make the blind see? Will Cambodians cure AIDS? Will Pakistanis eradicate cancer? The answer is probably not. Why? The reason is that non-Westerners have had no discernable impact on modern medicine. This year, like 45 of the last 60, an American won a share of the Nobel Prize in the field of medicine. Americans cured polio and tuberculosis, developed vaccines for hepatitis B and yellow fever, pioneered modern chemotherapy, and produced the CAT scan and MRI. What’s there to hate about that?

2. Democracy
Leftists harp that American democracy is tainted because not everyone possessed the right to vote at the Founding. Denial of the vote in the 18th century, however, was universal. What made America unique was not that some people could not vote, but that anybody could. More than 215 years after the Constitutional Convention, most people on the planet still do not have a right to vote. Every Arab country, more than three-fourths of African nations, and many of the most populous nations in the Orient still deny their citizens the right to choose their own leaders. Despite the continued rejection by many foreign leaders, the ideals of the American Founding became contagious. Our example served to topple regimes far from our shores. Pro-democracy activists don’t quote the founding documents of Saudi Arabia or appropriate the cultural symbols of China. They cite passages from the Declaration of Independence and hoist replicas of the Statue of Liberty.

1. Freedom
America has shined as a beacon of freedom in an unfree world for more than two centuries. To this day, for instance, most people living outside our borders reside in countries where the private practice of broadcast journalism is illegal and where the state is the dominant banker. Americans can say anything they want, worship any god they choose, and associate with any motley crew around. Our legacy is not slave chains, Wounded Knee, and the murder of James Byrd, but American GIs liberating a Nazi death camp, an immigrant’s first glance of lady liberty’s torch, and Ronald Reagan exhorting the Soviet’s to tear down the Berlin Wall. If nothing else, America means freedom.

What country in the history of the world boasts such an impressive record of bettering the lot of all of humanity? The answer is no country. “Americans need to face the truth about themselves,” Jeane Kirkpatrick once remarked, “no matter how pleasant it is.”

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Posted by at 06:12 | Posted in Measure 37 | 44 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Homerf12

    It isn’t America without the great people who made it happen. A nod to Americans.

  • Anonymous

    I just hope today’s Americans don’t lose sight of those lives lost that made america great. I’m afraid they don’t see how far down it has gone.

    • CRAWDUDE

      With the re-writing of this great countries history books by malcontents; most of todays youths have no idea the great things this country has done for the world in it’s approx. 230 years.

      It’s a pity that many people so under appreciate the freedom that was bought with the blood of so many Americans. We’ve become an entitlement country with many people feeling they deserve something but not willing to work for it.

      Me, me, me, me…..

      • DMF

        I can only second what you just said. I’m so glad I grew up when I did. I know what real freedom was, I never thought it would come to this. The way things are now has become a creeping cancer, worse than McArthy ism. Much much more subtle.

  • Jim Labbe

    Democracy is absolutely something to celebrate about America.

    But I sense a smug contentness which is antithetical American spirit that has expanded the sphere of freedom and genuine self-governance in this country.

    As Henry David Thoreau queried, “Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government?”

    Lets not rest on our laurels! That’s what your fellow Americans- that you disparaging refer to as “leftists”- are saying when they express disgust with political corruption and demand meaningful election and campaign finance reform.

    To quote Teddy Roosevelt, “A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy.”

    • sYBELLA

      Absolutely, we should not rest on our laurels. I’m concerned that is exactly what we are doing. How can it be a democracy when there are so many that are relying on entitlements for their livlyhood. I’m extremely concerned because taking from the rich to give to the poor, sounded good for Robin Hood, but in reality, those who work, support those who do not. The US is a republic, not a democracy. Taking from the rich and giving to those who do not work is Socialism. At one time Americans were among the most industriest people in the world. Now look at us. Over 51% are living on the public. Our unemployment rates are very high. Not the ones reported, those numbers only reflect the ones looking for work, not the ones who just don’t. That is scary. You are right, our government as it stands is not the ultimate in improvement. Our government will fall as will all others who have tried socialism, by whatever other name it may have been called.

  • responsibility

    There are 20% more people living in poverty in America than at the end of the 1800’s.

    • Sybella

      Why are they in poverty? What is poverty? Don’t tell me it’s people who make less than $20,000 annually. With a little smarts, a family can live on that and not be starving. I know in my area there are jobs going begging because nobody wants to work them. We have a high welfare rate also. Sure they aren’t high paying jobs, but they are jobs and they do pay money. With all the handouts people get, there is no excuse for poverty, at least not to the degree you say. And not in our country.

      I met a woman from Holland. She and her friend were hitchiking back to New York because they had no money. We took them to our home, fed them and gave them a bed for the night. Interesting conversation. In Holland, she said, There were more jobs than workers. She said there were plenty of people to fill the jobs, but they didn’t want to because the government paid them unemployment as soon as they reached a certain age. She said there were five or six of them living in a very small apartment because they couldn’t afford to live by themselves. We asked her, if it’s so bad why don’t you guys take one of the jobs that were desperate for workers. Her response ‘If I take one of those jobs when I don’t want it, I might keep somebody that wants it from working’. Is she living in poverty? Why should I feel sorry for and give up my hard earned income to see that person isn’t in poverty? I’m afraid the same thing is happening here because of well meaning people. Not to say, there is some real poverty. Those are the ones who need help. Not the able bodied who don’t want to work.

    • Jim Labbe

      Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is having to live in places that expose you or your child to unclean water, polluted air, or toxic waste. Poverty is having to worry about these things and as consequence not be able to meaningfully participate in our republican institutions of self-governance.

      Anyone who is alive to the realities of the world, knows that we have all these things in America. It both destabilizes our economy and undermines our republic.

      Classic republicans from the revolutionary generation understood poverty and inequality as threats to the health of the republic. As the Antifederalist “Centinel” (believed to be Samuel Bryant) wrote in October 5, 1787 during debates over the Constitution:

      “A republican, or free government, can only exist where the body of the people are virtuous, and where property is pretty equally divided.”

      Many in the revolutionary generation recognized that the causes of poverty and inequality were external to individuals (they did not simply blame the poor for their poverty) and a threatened the republic and the common good, They advocated that the democratic state could and should adopt public policies combating poverty and inequality.

      Thomas Paine wrote extensively about the threat of poverty and inequality to republican forms of government. The cause of poverty and inequality was clear to Paine. He wrote in Agrarian Justice: “the accumulation of personal property is, in many instances, the effect of paying too little for the labor that produced it; the consequence of which is that the working hand perishes in old age, and the employer abounds in affluence.” To remedy this injustice Paine advocated a progressive income tax and the first modern proposal for social security, not as charity but as justice and to safeguard republican institutions which he understood, required the meaningful participation of as many people as possible to be justice and fair.

      Thomas Jefferson echoed these concerns about how the accumulation of large masses of wealth could distort the natural order of things. Jefferson advocated progressive taxation and other measures to combat inequality and support the republic. In an October 28, 1785 letter to James Madison he wrote:

      “I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable, but the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree, is a politic measure and a practicable one. Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions or property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there are in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to the unemployed.”

      So to say progressive taxation or public policies that aleviate causes of inequality and poverty is “socialism” demonstrate misconstrue our country’s history and the spirit of the American Revolution.

      • CRAWDUDE

        I’m not sure where you get your figures but if you want to see poverty, check out 90% of the other counties in this world. What the people in this country catagorize as poverty is the lap of luxury for most of the worlds inhabitants. Why do you think so many want to move here?

        You can judge the worth of a country by the amount of people who want in, compared to the amount who want out. That would be about 6 billion to 1.

        Hey, I was stationed in Florida with a Tom Labbe, any relation?

  • Responsibility

    You are a really a sad sack. The poverty level in America is a life style most people in the world can only dream about.
    Plus, where did you get your stat? What specifically are you doing with your money or your work to help those many, many people in poverty??? That’s what I want to know.
    And furthermore, why are they in poverty?? There are jobs all over the place! How many of this mythical 20% are able bodied people who should be working? Most I think. Almost all.
    Please do let us know what you are doing with your money to help them – then I will listen to your pathetic rant and stupidity.
    My goodness….
    There are countless people who have come to America absolutely BROKE- not just impoverished – who then made it all work and are and have done just fine.
    Man, people like you are one reason this country is having a hard time. All you do is complain and quote stupid stats that mean nothing. What do you actually do to help????
    I am guessing not much…
    Happy Fourth of July – but we can’t be happy, can we, with so many peoples of the country suffering…woe is me…the sky is falling…what can we do?????
    HELP!!!!

    • Tom

      There is another kind of poverty here. The moral poverty that comes with being so blinded by our wealth and privelege that we deny the world’s injustices or otherwise avoid doing what is right to correct those injustices.

      • Anonymous

        WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ARE YOU GOING WITHOUT SO OTHERS CAN HAVE? I DOUBT IT

      • Jerry

        Tom –
        You are quite the fool. The whole point is that American has done more than any other nation in the world to help others. Period. Fact.
        Who are you, by the way, to say we have moral poverty? Maybe you do, most of us don’t.
        Jeeeze – you liberal whiners make me sick.
        Why don’t you do something concrete – rather than just type in some stupid, inane, and inaccurate comment so you will feel better.
        Man – what nonsense.

    • CRAWDUDE

      I pity you! You’re destined to live the unhappy, unfulfilling life of a malcontent. I guess I could come up with some personal attack but it so saddens me that people like you have to live your lives with your unhappy thoughts that the only thing I can come up with for you is my pity.

      • CRAWDUDE

        Oops, this was meant for the Anon. guy above 🙂

    • CRAWDUDE

      I pity you! You’re destined to live the unhappy, unfulfilling life of a malcontent. I guess I could come up with some personal attack but it so saddens me that people like you have to live your lives with your unhappy thoughts that the only thing I can come up with for you is my pity.

    • CRAWDUDE

      This is for Responsibility from the #5 comment, the site seems to to put comments at the botton instead of joining them to the thread.

      I pity you! You’re destined to live the unhappy, unfulfilling life of a malcontent. I guess I could come up with some personal attack but it so saddens me that people like you have to live your lives with your unhappy thoughts that the only thing I can come up with for you is my pity.

  • Jerry

    Losers like Responsibility will never be happy. This is their fate in life. I feel sorry for them, but will not feel so sorry for them I am unhappy.
    Regardless of their insipid musings and ill-conceived thoughts, America is still the best place in the world to live – bar none.
    These people just say stuff like this so they can feel better. They don’t actually ever do anything.
    Sad – very sad.
    Pathetic.
    Troubling.
    Enough said.

  • Jim Labbe

    The point is not to make anyone feelgood or others to feel bad or guilty. Guilt is worthless. The point is to genuinely renewal our great democractic institutions. That can’t happen when a such large percentage of our population can’t meet its basic needs and therefore meaingfully participate in the democratic process. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture 35.1 million Americans including 12.4 million children- live in households that frequently experience hunger or risk of hunger. Almost 11 million Americans (606,000 children) live in households that frequently skip meals, consume an inadequate supply of food or don’t eat for an entire day.

    Add to that growing inequality from zero or negative real wage growth on the bottom and a polical campaign finance system increasingly open to the highest bidder and I don’t think you can deny that our great democracy our grand experiment in republican self-governance is at risk.

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