Category Archive:

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

1

Remem­ber that song? The cho­rus has been ring­ing in my head over and over again this week. Sure it’s rain­ing in South Florida today: it’s rainy sea­son; but that has noth­ing to do with why I can hear BJ Thomas singing in my ears “…I’m free, noth­ing wor­ry­ing me!”

This week I gave my res­ig­na­tion let­ter to a job that I had been either work­ing on, or asso­ci­ated with, for the last ten years. In that time I’ve grown from a young man into a father and a hus­band. The job has been a tremen­dous bless­ing in my life and I have noth­ing neg­a­tive to say about it or the staff. They will always have a spe­cial place in my heart.

But in the last few months I real­ized that I had reached my max­i­mum capac­ity there.  There was noth­ing more I could offer them in the pro­fes­sional envi­ron­ment they fos­tered, nor was there any­thing more I could learn from them. My pro­fes­sional career was stag­nant. I was hold­ing on to it because the econ­omy is so ter­ri­ble, jobs are hard to find, and I have a fam­ily to take care of. But in many respects, and for those very rea­sons, I felt trapped.

Have you ever wished for some­one to come along and whisk you away into a brand new life? Wait­ing for a dream job or the man or woman of your dreams to enter and take you away is just that: a dream. That’s how I started to feel. But if we aren’t care­ful life will pass us by and we would look up and real­ize that we had been com­pla­cent; wish­ing we could break free or that some­one would come and res­cue us. That’s when I real­ized I would have to res­cue myself.

I turned in my res­ig­na­tion let­ter this week with­out another job in my hand. As crazy as it may sound in this econ­omy, I can’t accept that my life has to be at a stand­still because jobs are hard to find. Life is pass­ing us by while we “play it safe.” Peo­ple who are doing great things are doing them in their twen­ties, thir­ties, and pos­si­bly their for­ties. There’s no time to sit back com­fort­ably if you know you have some­thing more to give the world. 

The point is we don’t have time to wait for some­one to come and res­cue us: we have to res­cue our­selves. If you have a dream, pur­sue it. If you want to change careers, do it now! If you want your life to go in a dif­fer­ent direc­tion, don’t wait for a dream, cre­ate your own.

Wisdom has its place. I’m no fool. I was able to leave my job because we had enough funds to sus­tain our fam­ily for months to come. I’m deter­mined to set my career and my life in the direc­tion that I choose. Already there are sev­eral oppor­tu­ni­ties lined up for me. I’m not sure I would have found these oppor­tu­ni­ties while I worked where I was. Leav­ing gave me the time I needed to be at the right place and meet the right peo­ple. It allowed me to become avail­able for more and gave me time to focus on my PhD the way it requires. I digress.

It’s easy to stay some­where sim­ply because it’s com­fort­able. But life is sim­ply too short to be trapped in the com­pla­cency of com­fort. Start repo­si­tion­ing your­self now. Save your money so you can have options. Con­tinue your edu­ca­tion so you can move for­ward in the direc­tion that you choose. But most of all don’t wait for some­one to come and res­cue you: res­cue your­self. Set your­self free.

And when you finally break free, all you will be able to hear is BJ Thomas singing:

Rain­drops keep falling on my head, but that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turn­ing red…Because I’m free, noth­ing wor­ry­ing me.”

Best of Luck to You!

Posted in: America

Continue Reading

To Tax or Not to Tax

3

I just ended a very brief phone call with my brother from San Diego where in just about 10 min­utes we dis­cussed the entire Debt Ceil­ing prob­lem and the issue of taxes. Of course our cur­rent tax struc­ture is very com­pli­cated and requires CPAs and attor­neys to under­stand, but the under­ly­ing con­cept seems to be the ques­tion of the day: should the gov­ern­ment raise taxes or not?

Con­ser­v­a­tive thought on the mat­ter is very sim­ple: no new taxes. Most econ­o­mists would agree that the last thing you want to do in a recession—or recovery—or what­ever you want to call it—is to raise taxes. Rais­ing taxes now would pull more money from the econ­omy and decrease our indi­vid­ual pur­chas­ing power and—arguably—our invest­ing power. This is dur­ing a reces­sion mind you. But the Repub­li­cans and Con­ser­v­a­tives have made a hard-lined stance against rais­ing taxes ever—recession or no recession—NO NEW TAXES.

The argu­ment goes, “Rais­ing Taxes on the job cre­ators hurts job cre­ation and slows down the econ­omy.” So, by decreas­ing taxes we would stim­u­late the econ­omy and cre­ate jobs.

This is the same talk­ing point we’ve heard relent­lessly as far back as most of us are old enough to remem­ber. Under­neath this argu­ment are the fol­low­ing impor­tant assumptions:

  1. Job Cre­ators will cre­ate jobs if taxes are low.
  2. Lower taxes moti­vates Job Cre­ators to invest in their business.
  3. Lower taxes encour­ages Job Cre­ators to spend por­tions of their profit.

Within 10 min­utes we were able to see the obvi­ous flaws in these per­va­sive talk­ing points.

  1. Busi­nesses will (and right­fully SHOULD) only cre­ate jobs when there is more DEMAND than their cur­rent work­force can fill for the var­i­ous prod­ucts they offer. Any­thing more would be bad busi­ness practice.
  2. If the cost of invest­ing in their busi­ness is higher than the cost of hold­ing onto their prof­its, then busi­nesses will hold on to their prof­its. VERY SIMPLY: the costs of invest­ing are INTEREST, EXPENSES, and RISK. The cost of hold­ing onto prof­its is TAXES. It is purely an eco­nomic deci­sion. Why invest prof­its when it is cheaper to sim­ply hold on to them? Sim­ply put: if the tax code is such that it is cheaper for me to sit on my prof­its then I have no incen­tive to Invest. There is no rea­son for me to research and develop new prod­ucts because I get the same result with­out the expenses and the risks through the cur­rent tax code.

Let me give you an exam­ple: Gen­eral Elec­tric posted $5.1 Bil­lion dol­lars in prof­its and paid $0 in taxes. In fact, they received $3.2 Bil­lion in tax ben­e­fits sub­si­dized by the Amer­i­can people—you and I. Gen­eral Elec­tric has no need to invest in the econ­omy beyond any­thing it is cur­rently doing. Because of our cur­rent tax struc­ture, the com­pany paid less in taxes than the aver­age US tax­payer. What’s more, GE got a $3.2 Bil­lion rebate. QUESTION: What invest­ment could Gen­eral Elec­tric have made dur­ing the same time period that would have been as effort­less, risk free, and prof­itable? ANSWER: None.  How am I sure of this answer? If there was another way for them to make more money more effi­ciently they would be engaged in it: it would only be good business.

We now are in a sit­u­a­tion in our coun­try where what is being touted as truth has become per­verse: not rais­ing taxes is caus­ing there to be less invest­ment in the econ­omy and there­fore fewer jobs that are being cre­ated. Why add 1000 new jobs when adding those jobs MAY not reward you any more than the cur­rent tax struc­ture rewards you?

If I could be redun­dant to make a point: Busi­nesses are no longer in the busi­ness of busi­ness, they are in the busi­ness of mak­ing and keep­ing prof­its. I would argue that this is the only point for many busi­nesses: and do you blame them? At the end of the day we all want to make and keep our money. So until the cost of hold­ing prof­its becomes greater than the cost of invest­ing prof­its, we won’t see the job cre­ation that many law­mak­ers claim come with lower taxes. (For the eco­nomic astute, could it be that we have inverted the Laf­fer curve where taxes are so low that job cre­ation is stifled?)

Cor­po­rate wel­fare in the form of tax sub­si­dies and crip­plingly low taxes has done to cor­po­ra­tions what many believed would hap­pen with wel­fare to the cit­i­zens: it has made them lazy and has not given them any rea­son to go out and cre­ate jobs. Don’t mis­con­strue any­thing I am say­ing to think I am claim­ing these busi­nesses are evil. They are not. Most of us would do the same exact thing in their sit­u­a­tions. They are sim­ply engag­ing in good busi­ness prac­tices. These prac­tices cur­rently are not help­ing the econ­omy to grow.  Now, we need our polit­i­cal lead­ers to do their job and help our econ­omy grow by encour­ag­ing these busi­nesses to invest in themselves.

 

 

Posted in: America

Continue Reading

Author Labels Democratic Party “Demonic” as History is being Rewritten

2

When Democ­rats protest it is demonic. When Repub­li­cans do it, it’s patri­otic, or so Ann Coulter’s new book, Demonic: How the Lib­eral Mob is Endan­ger­ing Amer­ica, asserts. From the cries of the French Rev­o­lu­tion to “Yes We Can,” Coul­ter ties every lib­eral protest, every march for free­dom, and every dis­sent­ing voice with the likes of Mus­solini and Hitler and cat­e­gor­i­cally labels them all to be demonic. Any­one who has read any­thing of this par­tic­u­lar pun­dit is not the least bit sur­prised by some of her more out­ra­geous claims; how­ever, one would be sur­prised to know that in this hall of fame of demonic mob lead­ers she includes civil rights leader, Dr. Mar­tin Luther King Jr.

The non­vi­o­lent activism of Dr. King clearly can stand for itself and needs no defense; how­ever, Demonic seems to be a con­tin­u­a­tion of a con­certed effort to rewrite Amer­i­can his­tory for polit­i­cal pur­poses. Sud­denly, Rea­gan is a pres­i­dent that all Amer­i­cans should look to as the model of what the pres­i­dency should be. Trickle-down eco­nom­ics is renamed Supply-Side Eco­nom­ics, and mag­i­cally becomes the holy grail of Eco­nomic Pol­icy. Sarah Palin incor­rectly states that Paul Revere was warn­ing the British on his mid­night ride only to have her sup­port­ers quickly edit Wikipedia to reflect her ver­sion of his­tory. Now, Ann Coul­ter lays all of the atroc­i­ties of seg­re­ga­tion, Jim Crow, and the Ku Klux Klan at the feet of the Demo­c­ra­tic Party. To add insult to injury, she states that the March on Birm­ing­ham was in fact a demonic mob instead of a non-violent act of civil dis­obe­di­ence. All of a sud­den, the his­tory we learned in our schools, our churches, and through the voices of our past no longer matches what is being asserted today.

The trou­ble with this effort to rewrite our his­tory is that so many Amer­i­cans don’t know their his­tory well enough to deter­mine the sig­nif­i­cance of the changes being made. A less informed per­son may be per­suaded to believe that the Demo­c­ra­tic Party today, which enjoys nearly ninety-five per­cent of the African-American vote, is the same party that existed prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that Dr. King was a demonic mob leader, and that Rea­gan was the great­est pres­i­dent of all time. One who doesn’t know any bet­ter might begin to ques­tion why they would ever vote Demo­c­ra­tic again, con­sid­er­ing that so many Democ­rats were racists and seg­re­ga­tion­ists. Democ­rats are Democ­rats, right? Thank­fully, we know better.

Prior to 1964 the South was dom­i­nated by the Demo­c­ra­tic Party. Klans­men were pri­mar­ily Democ­rats. George Wal­lace was a Demo­c­rat. Strong Thur­man was a Demo­c­rat. Nev­er­the­less, when Demo­c­ra­tic Pres­i­dent Lyn­don B. John­son signed the Civil Rights Act into law in 1964 the South­ern “Dix­iecrats” clearly felt as though the Demo­c­ra­tic Party no longer rep­re­sented their ide­ol­ogy, sub­se­quently leav­ing the Party. Coul­ter alludes to this impor­tant detail only in pass­ing by say­ing that after the pas­sage of the act, “the anti-civil rights wing of the Demo­c­ra­tic Party dis­ap­peared vir­tu­ally overnight.” Still, she failed to men­tion where these self-proclaimed racists and seg­re­ga­tion­ists went when they dis­ap­peared: the Repub­li­can Party.

In 1960, Louisiana, Geor­gia, South Car­olina, and parts of Alabama all voted Demo­c­ra­tic in the 1960 Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Between 1960 and 1964, ten­sions in the South led to trans­for­ma­tion in the pri­or­i­ties of the young JFK and the Civil Rights Act became a pri­or­ity. After his assas­si­na­tion, Lyn­don John­son signed the act into law, serv­ing as the final straw for the Dix­iecrats. In 1964 the Dix­iecrats, along with their con­stituen­cies, left the Demo­c­rat party en masse and migrated to the Repub­li­can Party. In that elec­tion, Mis­sis­sippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Geor­gia, and South Car­olina all turned red as their elec­toral votes went to the Repub­li­can Party can­di­date, Barry Gold­wa­ter. A nefar­i­ous rewrite could eas­ily erase this very impor­tant tran­si­tion sim­ply because not enough Amer­i­cans know Amer­i­can his­tory for themselves.

There is no sur­prise that the only pro­tes­tors Coul­ter sees as non-demonic are mem­bers of the Tea Party, and the only pres­i­dents that are wor­thy of recog­ni­tion are those that had an R by their name, even though their ide­olo­gies var­ied wildly through­out the exis­tence of the Party. Need­less to say, if all, or even the major­ity, of the South­ern Dix­iecrats became Repub­li­can in the 1960s, then the Republicans—many of which still wave the Rebel flag today—cannot pos­si­bly claim to be the same party as Lin­coln who destroyed their dreams of seces­sion. The great­est irony of Coulter’s machi­na­tions is that while she cham­pi­oned Ronald Rea­gan as the Repub­li­can hero, those of us who know our Amer­i­can his­tory also know that he too was one of the Democ­rats that turned their coats dur­ing the six­ties after he felt the “Party left [him].” Maybe it was a case of bad tim­ing, or maybe Rea­gan actu­ally meant what he said when he stated, “If an indi­vid­ual wants to dis­crim­i­nate against Negroes…that’s their business.”

With only thir­teen per­cent of high school seniors hav­ing a sat­is­fac­tory knowl­edge of Amer­i­can his­tory, it becomes painfully clear why this book can­not be con­sid­ered a joke. The only evi­dence of demonic activ­ity in this book is her attempt to manip­u­late the unin­formed. This is why it is so impor­tant, now more than ever, that we teach his­tory to our chil­dren with the same urgency that we teach the sci­ences; if the past can be rewrit­ten for polit­i­cal gain, then surely our future doesn’t stand a chance.

© 2011 Ben­jamin P. Dixon

 

Posted in: America

Continue Reading

Blogging from D.C.

0

 

iPhone pic­ture of the White House

It’s a gloomy Fri­day after­noon in the nation’s capi­tol. I’m sit­ting on the steps of the Lin­coln Memo­r­ial look­ing at the crowds of tourists scram­bling up the mar­ble steps for their oppor­tu­nity to take a pic­ture with hon­est Abe. Look­ing across the land­scape of Amer­i­can His­tory I find a moment of repose.

I make it a point to stop by the Lin­coln Memo­r­ial every time I’m in the city. There is some­thing sacred and solemn about this shrine in par­tic­u­lar. Per­haps it is the very sim­ple words that are engraved above his mar­ble image:

In this tem­ple as in the hearts of the peo­ple for whom he saved the Union the Mem­ory of Abra­ham Lin­coln is enshrined forever”

These sim­ple words cause me to reflect on our nation’s his­tory. My jour­ney begins dur­ing the Civil War but instantly trans­ports me back to the found­ing of our nation. This is a jour­ney through time that I take on a reg­u­lar basis. To say I am fas­ci­nated with our nation’s past and con­sumed with thoughts of our future would be an under­state­ment. How­ever, this jour­ney is uniquely dif­fer­ent. I look down onto the small walk­way that sep­a­rates the two dif­fer­ent sets of steps and see an engrav­ing of where Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. stood and gave his his­tor­i­cal speech. This time my jour­ney through time is dif­fer­ent because where it doesn’t take me to our finest moments but our darkest.

In an instant images of slav­ery, Japan­ese intern­ment camps, Jim Crow laws, and the hyper-polarized antics of the present flash before my eyes. Just as quickly as I jour­ney through these dark moments in our his­tory, feel­ings of great pride over­take me. Some may won­der how this could be. At a bare min­i­mum I should have feel­ings of ambiva­lence about this coun­try because of my her­itage; but I don’t. I’m have always been and con­tinue to be proud to be an Amer­i­can. Noth­ing in our past has the abil­ity to taint my love for this coun­try. I see our past crimes, atroc­i­ties, and embar­rass­ments as lessons that shaped our union. We are, as Jef­fer­son proph­e­sied, ever evolv­ing into a more per­fect union.

Sud­denly, my moment of patri­otic pride fades as I begin think about how many peo­ple don’t feel the same way about our nation. So many are con­sumed by the pain and prob­lems of our past that they con­demn our nation’s future. Oth­ers are so infu­ri­ated by oppos­ing ideas of gov­ern­ing that they declare the end of “the nation our founders built.”  In my heart I won­der how many cit­i­zens can love this coun­try beyond our past and dif­fer­ences in polit­i­cal ideology.

iPhone pic­ture of the Lin­coln Memorial

So many of us only love the coun­try when our party is in con­trol or when the check has our name on it. Every time the check goes to a dif­fer­ent demo­graphic or when­ever our polit­i­cal rivals are in power we declare that our nation is lost and has to be taken back. Is our love based only on polit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy and what the nation can do for us?

 

And just as I begin to suc­cumb to these feel­ings of sad­ness I take another look across the land­scape of our capi­tol and a smile breaks through. Patri­otic pride over­takes the feel­ings of sad­ness because my eyes are privy to the truth: our nation will not be con­demned because of our past, will not be lost because our rivals may be in power, and despite our dif­fer­ences will always be beau­ti­ful. I look again at the spot where Dr. King stood and my jour­ney through time ends at the same place it began: repose.

iPhone image of the Lin­coln Memorial

We may have our dif­fer­ences, but each of us still has Amer­ica. This is our land. This is our home. The past is all of ours to own. The future is all of ours to make. But where some see prob­lems I see promise. I see oppor­tu­ni­ties to con­tribute to mak­ing our nation more per­fect while real­iz­ing that we will never get there. At our best we will still have dif­fer­ences, prob­lems, and a trou­bled past. But today Amer­ica is unques­tion­ably more beau­ti­ful and more per­fect. What it will be tomor­row depends on how many cit­i­zens can be proud to be an Amer­i­can even when our party is not in power and when some­one else is ben­e­fit­ing from her.

Thanks for the jour­ney Abe. Per­haps this is why I make it a point to always stop by here when­ever I’m in the city. Next stop, the Capi­tol Building.

Posted in: America

Continue Reading

In Response to Cornel West and Noam Chomsky’s Criticism of the Killing of Osama bin Laden

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noam Chom­sky and Cor­nell West have used their posi­tions as twenty-first-century Amer­i­can philoso­phers to not merely cri­tique our nation’s han­dling of Osama bin Laden, but also to label it as an exe­cu­tion and an assas­si­na­tion. Chom­sky even goes to the extent of call­ing bin Laden a vic­tim.

West uses the issues of social jus­tice to con­jure dis­dain for America’s focus on bring­ing bin Laden to jus­tice. He jux­ta­poses the injus­tices of poverty and hunger in Amer­ica with the nation’s quest for jus­tice against bin Laden and con­cludes that our pri­or­i­ties are warped. Chom­sky attacks the issue at a more fun­da­men­tal, albeit con­spir­a­to­r­ial, level by sug­gest­ing that Amer­ica had no con­crete evi­dence that Osama bin Laden was actu­ally the mas­ter­mind behind the attacks on Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001. He calls Pres­i­dent Obama a liar and then chal­lenges us to con­sider how we would feel if Iraqi com­man­dos landed out­side of G.W. Bush’s ranch, exe­cuted him, and then dumped his body in the ocean. These two care­fully crafted com­men­taries serve only to bring atten­tion to the authors; they do noth­ing for the cause of our nation or the cause of the jus­tice that West and Chom­sky claim to champion.

Dr. West con­flates two entirely dif­fer­ent issues that are arguably mutu­ally exclu­sive: the killing of Osama bin Laden has noth­ing to do with the eco­nomic injus­tices that many Amer­i­cans clearly suf­fer on a daily basis. Does Dr. West sug­gest that we forgo national secu­rity mat­ters until we have reme­died all of our inter­nal social ills? Should we com­mit our troops to build­ing homes for the home­less with­out regard to pro­tect­ing our inter­ests abroad? Would the dol­lars spent cap­tur­ing Osama have been bet­ter used by insti­tut­ing a new social pro­gram or per­haps even repa­ra­tions? These propo­si­tions are equally as fool­ish as Dr. West’s comments.

Chom­sky insin­u­ates that Amer­ica is the cul­prit and, in this case, bin Laden was yet another vic­tim of our impe­ri­al­is­tic and cap­i­tal­is­tic machi­na­tions. He then plays to his base by allud­ing to Bush’s atroc­i­ties and ask­ing how we would react if the shoe were on the other foot. I would ask Chom­sky if bin Laden’s crimes were absolved because of our crimes. Are we as a nation so eter­nally stained that we have no right to exe­cute jus­tice on our ene­mies? If this is the case, then surely Amer­ica is damned; how­ever, I would remind Chom­sky that just as we rise together as a nation, so too shall we fall. He is just as much a ben­e­fi­ciary of our nation’s bless­ings as the cap­i­tal­ist on Wall Street; as he con­demns our nation because of our crimes, he inex­tri­ca­bly con­demns himself.

As to his ques­tion of the shoe being on the other foot, surely he is intel­li­gent enough to under­stand that bin Laden was not the cur­rent head, nor the for­mer head, of any state. Surely he knows that in regard to inter­na­tional law, bin Laden and Bush are oranges and apples. This ques­tion serves no pur­pose other than to stir the lin­ger­ing anger of his con­stituents against Bush and the neo­con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment. Notwith­stand­ing his ques­tion, there is some­thing to be said here about nationalism.

As much as I dis­agreed with Bush, he was my pres­i­dent. I would take up arms with other patri­ots to avenge, revenge, and exe­cute jus­tice on any act against the pres­i­dent of the nation of which I am a citizen—not because of the indi­vid­ual, but because of the posi­tion. This is our nation, and an attack against it is an attack against me. Per­haps that is too patri­otic for Chomsky’s tastes. This is a free coun­try. There­fore, he has the right to play the role of the per­pet­ual dis­senter and even to do so from his ivory tower at MIT, as though he iden­ti­fies with those of us who truly are, and have been, the oppressed.

Like­wise, we too have the right to dis­agree with two of the pre­em­i­nent schol­ars of our day. How dis­ap­point­ing it is that they would resort to appeal­ing to the pathos of their devoted dis­ci­ples when they are fully aware of the fact that this is the exact type of manip­u­la­tion that we must help the aver­age cit­i­zen, such as I, rise above. It is bad enough that we are com­pet­ing against the onslaught of deceit from talk radio and the blo­gos­phere; do we now have to com­pete against those who are sup­posed to help enlighten us? Amer­ica deserves bet­ter than intel­lec­tu­als who stoop to the level of talk show hosts and use the pul­pits they have erected in the halls of acad­e­mia to for­ward their per­sonal careers.

After all is said and done, the poor will still be the eco­nom­i­cally exploited, and the hun­gry will still be search­ing for their next meal. More­over, West’s and Chomsky’s com­ments will do noth­ing to rem­edy these prob­lems any more than America’s killing of Osama bin Laden. At least the lat­ter is an accom­plish­ment that ben­e­fits the entire world and not just the per­sonas of two schol­ars of whom I am for­ever a stu­dent. This com­men­tary is merely a dis­sent in the same spirit they have inspired.

© 2011 Ben­jamin P. Dixon.


Continue Reading

America is Still Beautiful

1

Our nation is phe­nom­e­nally won­der­ful and amaz­ing. Do we have our bad days? Absolutely. Do will still suf­fer from big­otry, hatred, and other social ills? Unques­tion­ably. Nev­er­the­less, our infighting—our fam­ily bickering—has never been able to divide us to the point from which we can­not unite under the same star span­gled ban­ner. Just like any other fam­ily, Amer­ica strug­gles with inter­nal issues that those on the out­side seek to cap­i­tal­ize on. Nev­er­the­less, when the call of patri­o­tism goes forth some­thing amaz­ing hap­pens. We are instantly trans­formed into some­thing more than indi­vid­ual cit­i­zens of a divided coun­try. Our nation goes through a meta­mor­pho­sis right before our very eyes: black & white, red & yel­low, brown and oth­er­wise fade away; party affil­i­a­tion sub­sides; labels become irrel­e­vant; and all that remains is Amer­ica, the beautiful.

Our nation is still beau­ti­ful because not one page in our often dif­fi­cult past is ugly enough to wash away the beauty of our pur­suit for a More Per­fect Union. Our nation is still beau­ti­ful because we, her cit­i­zens, still know that this is the great­est coun­try in the world; and for all of her chal­lenges, there is no other place we would rather be. Our nation is still beau­ti­ful because she has planted a seed of patri­o­tism deep inside each of her chil­dren that never ceases to blos­som each time storms threaten to rain down on her.

This is where her beauty lies. It resides so deeply inside of each of us that, even dur­ing a period in which we feel that we can be no more divided, an Amer­i­can vic­tory still evokes spon­ta­neous cho­ruses of, “My coun­try ’tis of thee, sweet land of lib­erty, of thee I sing.” No mat­ter how much we fight and argue, Amer­ica is still beau­ti­ful because there are hun­dreds of mil­lions of patri­ots that would proudly stand together to defend her.

Amer­ica is still beau­ti­ful because she has never lost her beauty; and as long as the blood flows in the veins of unlikely com­pa­tri­ots, we will always be will­ing to shed that blood side by side so that our chil­dren will have the oppor­tu­nity to sing as we did:

Oh beau­ti­ful, for spa­cious skies, for amber waves of grain. For pur­ple moun­tain majesties, above the fruited plain.

Amer­ica, Amer­ica, God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good in broth­er­hood, from see to shiny sea.”

 

Posted in: America

Continue Reading