Monday, June 22, 2015

Proud To Be An American

Recently I was reading a short opinion article that was featured in the university paper at my alma mater. To be honest the schools newspaper is lacking in many areas and I may be one of the only people who actually reads it. Lucky for the rest of you I do read it and some times I find gems like this particular article. The article, though poorly written, caused me to do some follow up research. The author was talking about news providers such as The Blaze and political commentators like Ann Coulter who talk about American like it is a great county. They even go so far as to say that America is the best country in the world. The author was very upset by this attitude. She talked about the dangers of  nationalism and made the ever popular comparison to Hitler's holocaust implying that America's sense of nationalism would lead to similar events here in America.Our budding liberal author concluded her article by stating the following,"We are not the best country in the world because there is no best country in  the world." 

As I mentioned earlier, the "sound logic" presented in this article caused me to conduct some follow up research. I was curious about American pride. Are Americans proud to be American? I have to say that I am skeptical. We have recently had major riots in both Ferguson and Baltimore. If those are any indication of the current national attitude then It would appear that Americans are anything but proud to be American. Our own first lady stated during her husbands 2008 campaign that she had never been proud to be an American, until her husband was elected. And then there is our president, our commander in chief who claims to believe in American exceptional just as Brits believe in British exceptional. Which is a very diplomatic way of saying he doesn't believe America is any more exceptional than other nations.

 Despite being skeptical I decided to do a little research. I found a  Gallup poll conducted in 2013 that showed that the majority of Americans still say they are proud to be American. In 2014 Pew Research found similar results with most Americans saying that America was great.
However the results varied with 28% of Americans saying that America stands out among other nations, 58% saying America is one of the greatest nations among others, and 12% saying other countries are better.Their results also showed a slight decrease in American pride over the last three years.

Honestly I hope that the majority of Americans are proud to be American and that they believe we are an exceptional nation. Because we are! I found an article that Business Insider published last 4th of July. The article was entitled 27 Charts that will have you shouting 'America is number 1!'.  Some of the charts were more comical, like pointing out that most Americans have their own BBQ grill. However they also pointed out that America is home to the five largest companies in the world. We are number one in the world for natural gas production. Fifty percent of the top 10 all time Olympic gold medalists are from America. Half of the top four largest firms by sales are located in America. We created both the most valuable brands and the most visited websites in the world. We also produce half of the best tennis players in the world.

Economy and sports aside,  America does have a track record better than any other nation, one that should make all Americans proud. No other nation has lived under the same Constitution for so long as the United States of America. Our Constitution has survived for longer than any other in the history of the world. Our founding principles have withstood the test of time. They have been tested and tried. America was founded on ideas that were so radical that even within our own country we have had to fight to preserve them. This fight continues today. This last week President Obama has once again turned a national tragedy into a means of trying to take away our right to bear arms. But that is the main reason that I am proud to be an American. Because despite Obama's insisting that Americans are not responsible enough to own guns the people will not give up their guns. They will fight for their right to bear arms. How do I know that? Because that is why America has lasted as long as we have. Because we honestly believe in freedom, liberty, and human rights and we have a history of fighting for them. America is alive today because of the people. I am proud to be an American because that means I belong to a nation made up of freedom loving, tyranny fighting, radicals. Who are not afraid to stand up for their rights.

And so to our young liberal author who doesn't believe in America I say I'm sorry that you do not believe in the American people, the American dream, or the principles of freedom and democracy. I'm sorry that you are not proud to be an American but I am not sorry that I am.

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