I have visited more than thirty other countries. I enjoyed them all: the people, the natural beauty, variety of languages, food, music, architecture, and more. My love for America does not stand in condescension to other countries.
The United States of America is not perfect. We are constantly trying to improve—even in areas where we a strong. We even fight about what is the best solution to our "problems." Even though our schools turn out inconsistent results, anyone can go into a public library and have access to a wider variety of books and world philosophies than are available in many countries that have "full literacy." But what good is it if "everyone can read" and the government denies alternative views from being published or made available?
America will keep working on our issues for a long time to come. And, as always, we will find better as well as not so good ways of solving them.
If our debate is focused on issues and not berating our opponents, we can have brisk and civil debate. Start by assuming the "other guy has good intentions." Nothing is accomplished through name calling. Try to imagine their passion comes from a good place and not from hatred.I may just think you are wrong, not evil.
On this "Independence Day" the current surveys suggest that a higher number of Americans than ever identify as "independent."
I am often amused by this so called "center ground." Are they really NOT conservative or liberal-progressive? Are they just out there looking for the candidate or cause du jour that they will "like"—for now. Maybe they are looking for the candidate or party that will give them the most stuff.I want the government to give me what's on every coin and piece of paper currency we have, Liberty—the freedom and independence to pursue my passions and dreams with minimal intrusion from government. "Get your hands off my lemonade stand."
Ever since John Adams took on the anti-separatist delegation from "Penn-syl-v(ay)n- EE-ah" we Americans have been debating, arguing, and taking sides. But that's because we have a point of view. Often our positions are based on personal values and private beliefs.
So, what are the values that place someone independently in the undecided middle. I have voted for (and campaigned for) candidates of both Democrat and republican parties. I even campaigned for a third party candidate for President—but eventually did not vote for that candidate. (It was not Ross Perot.)
If you have never taken a it, the "World's Smallest Political Quiz" is a good start at accessing where you are on the political spectrum. It is by no means thorough or complete, but a good appraisal of your general views. Those who created the quiz report that few people test as "centrist." (there are longer, more thorough surveys online,. but my experiences is that even this short quiz gives an accurate snapshot of one's political positions. Start HERE. There's a far longer survey HERE.)
One my favorite living philosophers and analysts of current events has a short historical tradition to help us recall the history and traditions that founded this country. Dennis has captured this celebrationn at a picnic with friends. Watch the brief video in which the group calls the 4th of july Declaration.* Please take a few minutes to watch, HERE ...and share with friends and family.
*You and your friends and family can recreate this celebration (including the signing of the Declaration of Independence) by visiting PrgareU.com and getting an outline and other elements for this brief event - - including a down loadable Declaration of Independence without historical signatures. The celebration can be done in just ten minutes and you'll still have time for BBQing, games, relaxing and other July fourth activities.
Happy birthday, USA!