Before, I begin let me say my answer is YES and it still is! But, we must delve into the question a bit more to find out what is happening politically in America today. I discussed America and our founding principles with a mixture of Republicans and Democrats and someone in that group brought up the economy, national security, the border, and socialism. That person said, “How can anyone not acknowledge that we are better off than under the eight-years of the previous administration?” He then said, “We need to get behind the idea and dream of making America Great Again!” One of the Democrats snarled and asked, “Was America ever great?”
His question is a valid question that deserves more than a flippant dismissal. Was America ever great? Each of us has our opinion and mine, without detailing why, is YES! The question and challenge by the Democrat in our group inspired a pilgrimage in my heart and mind. I wanted to see empirical evidence that supported either side of that argument. I wanted to know beyond what I believed out of my love for this nation, the answer to the question.
I don’t know if I can sufficiently answer that question with the documentation that some demand or if they would accept the facts and examples available. I have learned that most people believe what they believe, often absent of evidence to support their view. I have learned that some have, often unwittingly, taken the position, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.” There is guilt in that area on both sides of every issue. That, in my view, is one of our problems today, we are, too frequently, unwilling to listen to another view.
There are those who hate President Trump so much they would believe anything bad and nothing good about him or what he does. There are those that love him enough that they would ignore factual data that he made a mistake or was wrong. That presents an impasse and a chasm so wide that no bridge can span. The haters appear willing to risk the republic to destroy him and the supporters have become so frustrated with that view, they are growing antsy and angry. There is a cauldron boiling in America that could end in catastrophic tragedy between the opposing sides.
But, back to the question, “Was America Ever Great?” Margaret Thatcher said in a speech in 1991, “and Europeans alike sometimes forget how unique the United States of America is. No other nation has been built upon an idea, the idea of liberty.” That is a powerful recognition of our founding purpose and principles. The Founding Fathers did not declare our independence based on the idea, “we are Americans and they are Englishmen.” They founded it based on the factual reality that the colonists in America were being denied the rights due to Englishmen or All men.
The motto on our Great Seal: E Pluribus Unum, “out of many one” expresses their view that “All men are created equal and possess certain inalienable rights including Life, Liberty, and the right to, in an unobstructed manner, pursue Happiness.” America was founded on Patriotism.
Most nations, unlike the United States, were nations before they became states. America was a group of colonies who unitedly were pursuing a dream where all people could live, worship, and work free. A patriot’s loyalty is not to a political party or any ethnicity. Patriotism is a term for devotion and commitment not to ethnicity or fringe ideologies but to the nation of which they are a citizen. The saying, usually attributed to Thomas Paine is apropos, “It is the duty of a patriot to protect his country from its government.” We could add to that, “to protect his country from radical fringe elements and ideologies that strip citizens of their inalienable rights and threaten the peaceful pursuit thereof.”
The greatness of America is suggested in the views and writings of Alexis de Tocqueville who came here in 1831 to study America. European were amazed that a new nation barely 50 years old could be competing with them on virtually every level. He looked at the American school system and took note that everybody finishing the Second Grade was completely literate. That is amazing, but is it true today? No, because many that finish high school and some that complete a 4-year-degree in college do not qualify. We were great in education.
Today, the government takes a hefty portion of our earnings in various taxes and we are struggling on many fronts and burdened with an astronomical deficit and national debt. In our beginnings, there was no income tax, did not have the extensive and enslaving welfare and entitlement system, and American ingenuity and drive inspired people to fight their way to prosperity. Today, we are so laden with the entitlement mentality that many if not most are asking, “what’s in it for me?”
America was great because she allowed everyone to enjoy Freedom of Speech, and Religion. Today, political correctness is stifling the free discussion of issues for fear of violating some written or unwritten of the enforcers of the proper speech. We were great because we were free but there has been a systematic erosion of our freedoms and with the loss of freedom the loss of greatness.
America was family-oriented in our beginning and that strong family bond with the diligent oversight of the father and mother helped steer multitudes of youth away from debauchery and crime. The Bible was still relevant in our schools, the foundational moral guidelines established in the Ten Commandments were embraced nationally.
It is reported that as the Constitutional Convention was falling apart and appeared doomed for failure, Benjamin Franklin saved the day. How? The 81-year-old statesman stood before the assembly and said, “Gentlemen stop! During the Revolutionary War, every other phrase out of our mouth was, ‘Lord help us,’ and now you don’t even want to talk about God.” He urged them to get on their knees and pray for wisdom. Today that would land him in the PC Jail if not indicted for hate speech.
Without laboring to give financial examples, technological innovations, agricultural, architectural, artistic, scientific, or industrial evidence of the greatness of America past, I wish to give you some of my core reasons for belief that America Was Great, is Great, and can be Greater going forward.
We were founded and desired to be, One Nation Under God with the Undeniable Right to Life. We enjoyed ordered Freedom, embraced the strength of the traditional family with a father and a mother in the home. Nationally we encouraged the exercise of common decency, had a very solid Work Ethic. We were Covenant minded people and God was a vital part of our American life. John F. Kennedy said in his Inaugural Address: “Let us go forward with God’s blessing but realize that, here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.” We had God-Centered Education, respect for Church on a national level, and not only practiced but defended Religious Freedom.
For America to return to her former State of Greatness we must rediscover some of the old paths. Not those that led us into horrific mistakes, but those that led us out of those mistakes and staunchly defended freedom. America is still that land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. America is still the Land of Opportunity. America is still the nation that millions desire to immigrate and pursue the inalienable right to Live, Live Free, and Pursue the dreams of their hearts. Yes, I believe America is Great and I am unwilling to allow the Liberal Leftists Socialist Globalist destroy this Republic. Will you join me in keeping America Free so that we can keep America Great?
God bless you and God bless America!