We sure had quite an election year last year and now the new administration has replaced the old administration. There have been a lot of negative thoughts and comments concerning the election and transfer of power coming from many of my friends and acquaintances and family members as I’m sure you may have had some negativity as well. I don’t want to be negative so I decided to write about what there is to like about America and I believe there is a lot to like about this country.
- America is still a great Republic. This might surprise some of you but America was never founded as a democracy. No, the founding Fathers decided to establish the United States of America as a Republic rather than a democracy. So what does this mean? I like this definition as it explains things better than I can.
The United States is, indeed, a republic, not a democracy. Accurately defined, a democracy is a form of government in which the people decide policy matters directly–through town hall meetings or by voting on ballot initiatives and referendums. A republic, on the other hand, is a system in which the people choose representatives who, in turn, make policy decisions on their behalf. The Framers of the Constitution were altogether fearful of pure democracy. Everything they read and studied taught them that pure democracies “have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths” (Federalist No. 10) http://www.thisnation.com/question/011.html
- States have the right to govern when it comes to some areas of government. Now I will be the first to admit that many of the States have lost much of their ability to govern within their own borders. In fact just during my lifetime I have seen a lot of Federal Rights supersede individual State Rights but it still is pretty great to know that there are some areas in which each State can make their own decisions for their constituents. Also within each State are counties or parishes that also have governing authority over their residents. Pretty awesome when you think about how our government works.
- The standard of living is still high enough that many foreigners want to come and have a piece of the American dream. That is basically why we have many illegal immigrants within our borders. They may have come as students and walked away from their studies and got lost in the sea of humanity here or they may have been smuggled in, or they may have come as a visitor and never left. My point is that our standard of living is good and we have become so used to it that we don’t appreciate what we have as much as we probably should. We also have a lot of freedoms that many countries don’t have which we need to acknowledge that we have. This in combination with our standard of living still makes the good old USA a very desirable place to live.
- We are a true melting-pot and that’s a good thing! We have so many great foods to experience because of our melting-pot. We have so many cultural opportunities because of the various immigrants that have come and brought parts of their culture with them for us to learn about and enjoy. We have so many good things because of the multiple heritages but we also should remember an example from the Bible about the Tower of Babel.
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel —because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:1-9, (New International Version or NIV).
So what is my point here? It’s simple really, if we keep only our native languages then we won’t be able to work together because our communication skills will be lacking. However, if we learn one language and use it in cooperation with others while working together then there is nothing that we can’t achieve together. In my opinion that is why English is so important to be taught to our new citizens.
- Not only are we blessed with diversity of cultures and people and all the good that comes from that (I must be hungry because I am thinking of the diversity of foods) but we also have diversity in scenery. Let’s face it; America has some pretty awesome natural beauty all across the country. Most people think that Nebraska is all flat and corn fields but that is only because they never leave the interstate highway. Nebraska has some spectacular scenery when you go off the beaten path. We have lakes, rivers, forests, the foot hills to the Black Hills, and an area that is really a desert called Toad Stool Park. Now when you think of the diversity of all the other States, then there is much to see in our country that is spectacular and marvelous and inspiring and awesome!
- Every kind of weather exists in America. I live in Nebraska and more than once we have snow on one end and tornadoes on the other end of the State on the same day. We have all four seasons in much of our country. The cold snow in winter, sweet blossoms of spring, heat of summer, and the beautiful foliage of fall can be found. Yes, we have every kind of weather from the beautiful to the terrifying and that is something not all countries can brag about!
- America is made up of a lot of good, honest, hardworking, family oriented people. Oh yes, we have problems with criminals and we hear a lot about that from the news media. But I still believe that there are more honest hard-working and kind people than criminals! I believe that America’s greatest asset is the people who call America home. Oh we have our differences when it comes to politics, sports teams, and favorite beverage, but when trouble comes we all pull together and pool our resources to meet the challenge, whether it is a natural phenomenon or a man-made situation. We rise up to meet the challenge and overcome it because we work together in unity. That is what is great about America!
Next time you worry that America is falling apart, that bad is everywhere and good seems to be unseen remember what the truth really is. The truth is that this old Republic still stands and still works and still holds much promise for us all.