Okay, so the birthday thing is a little off and often debated. Some say July 2, others say the 8th; some say August, others even argue for the years later thing. But why quibble the date. We picked one and thats that. Its not like there are no other birthdays out there we don't celebrate on a debated date.
But anyway, its been 236 years. Pretty good run, eh?
But we're not over yet. No matter what you hear from both sides of the political aisle.
Politics and Presidents and Senators and so on and so on are all just fleeting things. Good ones and bad ones come and go. As do huge country-wide ideological uproars.
Lets not forget, we had a bit of a row back in the middle of all this that nearly ended it.
But America kept going on.
Good question. And one I think I can shed some light on.
We the people.
Through whatever adversity that prevails, Americans stay strong. We debate and argue, sometimes pretty heated. But at the end of the day (and some of those days are gawd-awful long), we go on.
Be it taxes, states' rights, moral dilemmas, ethical faux pas, or any nu,ber of things that "almost tore this country apart," we have come out the other side of the tunnel. Mayeb a little tarnished, maybe a little tattered. But the American spirit lives on.
The same spirit that took hold of the hearts of our founders. The spirit of independence. The spirit of freedom. No matter how much we may disagree on some things, we always step back, look around at what goes on in the world and say "whoa, we could have it so much worse."
There are countries in this world that really don't care what the people think. Their leaders just do whatever they fancy with no regard. At least in AMerica our silly politicians make a show of making it seem like they care what you think. And some actually do care. And its these that are the true leaders that guide us out of folly.
There are some countries that will actually take you out and kill you if you practice a religion. Or a religion the leaders don't like. In America, we have strong words aimed at religion and from religion. But in the end, we are offered the freedom to have that. Without being slaughtered wholesale.
There are some countries where the people are forced to eat pig slop, are told they like it and actually believe it. In America, there are those who are hungry, yes. And some even eat things the average person would lose their cookies over. But they know the difference. And there are people in America who go out of their way to help. AND in America, there are people who openly decry these conditions without being sent off to jail or to the bottom of some shallow ravine.
There are countries in this world who advocate the destruction of other countries because of a difference in religion, politics, manner of dress . . . whatever gets them to sleep at night in order to feel superior to the rest of the world. And no matter your opinion of one leader's policies or another, America is not one of those countries. We don't want to be the world's policeman . . . but are often called on to do just that. We don't want to be the mom and dad to the bad little dictators of the globe . . . but are often (way too often, in my opinion) forced to be just that.
As harshly as you may criticize American politics, leaders or whatever else you might have a beef about, AMERICA (and that is synonymous with AMERICANS) is the proudest, most giving and forgiving, generous to a fault shining light for so many out there who are amazed that we don't see it the way they do.
Yes, there are fanatics who want to destroy anything that is not them. America is the biggest kid on the block and the light they want to quash for everyone else. How can they be totalitarian if there is a HUGE example of how things can be free? Of course they want to extinguish that light.
Its not about "American imperialism". Its not about "America the nation builder". Its not about "America the bully." Its not about any of these things. The reason terrorist and others want America to fall its so they can shout, "see, we are better" and exert their power over people.
America is about freedom.
Plain and simple.
Freedom to express your ideals. Freedom to practice your religion. Freedom to disagree. Freedom to live and excel. Freedom to raise your family, go on vacations, be whatever you want to be . . . to live your life how YOU want to.
So, today, on America's birthday, the day of our celebration for independence, remember three things.
1) Freedom is never free. There are prices to be paid . . . but there are those willing to pay them, for you. SO,
2) Remember our military, their family and their friends. They are sacrificing so that YOU can enjoy those freedoms.
3) No matter your political stripe or ideology or religious belief or moral code, we are ALL Americans. Today should remind us of the BIG PICTURE. 236 years of the BIG PICTURE.
We will survive. No matter what anyone internally or externally wants to threaten / warn / frighten you has to say. We will keep going on.
Happy Birthday, America!
Happy Independence Day, Americans!
Lets forge on for 236 more (and beyond).