2 days ago, 07/02/2015 at 5:13pm
Happy Independence Day!
This Fourth of July holiday seems a perfect time for Americans to reflect on the state of our country. Now 239 years old, our republic has weathered countless storms. It has survived attack from within and without. It has grown from a small upstart group of British colonies to the strongest nation on Earth. 319 million people call themselves Americans today.
This experiment in democracy continues to be a shining beacon for those around the world burdened with oppressive governments. Those who think that OUR government is oppressive need to spend time in China or Afghanistan or Sudan. Americans have the luxury of complaining about our government, usually with full bellies and roof over their head and without the need to defend their home and family on a daily basis.
Our nation is not yet perfect, and it will likely never be. It wasn’t perfect back in the good old days of the 1780’s or 1890’s or 1950’s though you’d think it was from the claims of some today.
It’s a natural tendency to idealize a former period of time, but a trap that wise citizens with a sense of history avoid. Any casual look at the history of civil rights in our country alone will uncover that one man’s "good old days” were another’s adversity.
Today will be someone’s "good old days” 30-40 years from now. They’ll look back fondly and reminisce. Meanwhile too many of us are too often consumed with how awful life is now. It’s all about perspective.