What is America?

Most people do not seem to know what makes America unique as a nation – what it truly represents. 

This has become quite troublesome to say the least. So here is a reminder to any one who would listen.

Is America a political mapping of territory? No. This country has changed shape many times in its history and remained a nation.

Is America a nation of people?  No. The people who created it are all long dead. We have had waves of immigrants come here since then as well. We are VERY diverse and we are NOT a nation of immigrants – no more so than every other country on the planet.

Is America a land of Laws?  No.  We have laws that are very similar to many other countries. And again, our laws have changed drastically over the past two hundred years.

Is America about shared values?  No, but it used to be. And these values are what made America great.

Is America about an ideology, religion or philosophical orientation?  No.

Is America about military strength, technology, entrepreneurship, trade, diversity, open borders, the English language, or any one of the thousands of other little facets that might accurately describe us?  NO. These things describe our FEATURES, but they do not DEFINE us.

So what IS America?

America is a Constitutional Republic.  Our Constitution is what defines us above all else.  And those shared values mentioned above?  We used to hold many values sacred. Ask any immigrant who arrived here prior to the 1990’s and they will tell you the same thing – all had to assimilate and adopt the core values upon which this country was built.

Some of those values included:  Liberty, personal responsibility, accountability, industriousness, merit, justice, fairness, and equal rights, to name several.   

Our founding fathers could not solve EVERY problem. No human or group has ever achieved this because it is NOT possible.  They left us a nearly perfect country that did not solve a few obvious problems like slavery, religion, women’s rights, and colonialism to name the biggies. In fact, we still haven’t solved these things and we were HANDED this country with the hardest work already done.

So as you spend time with your loved ones, or work, or sit alone today, I hope we can all reflect on how far astray from the ideals gifted to us by our founding fathers we have come.  And despite all of our differences and challenges, I hope you will find cause to celebrate today and to be mindful and thankful for this amazing country. 

It is in our hands now – and I hope we do what’s right.

Happy Thanksgiving

Published by rickhyland

www.hyland.org

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