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Happy Independence Day!
In My Opinion...
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 • Posted July 4, 2012

236 years old! The United States of America celebrates it's birthday Wednesday, and it's an impressive number.

During our recent trip through New England, we had the opportunity to visit some of the historic sites in Boston, and to see the final resting place of many of the early revolutionaries that made our independence possible. It's eye-opening to see the ruggedness of the landscape in which they were living while also putting their lives at risk to follow their beliefs and principles.

During the following 200+ centuries, our country, and the world, have seen many changes. In spite of tough economic times, the United States is still looked to as the world leader in matters relating to a free economy, in matters relating to human rights, and in matters relating to standard of living. When the rest of the world is having problems, they look to our country and our people for answers, solutions and ideas.

When elections are held in emerging democracies around the world, it is the United States that serves as an example for how to conduct those exercises. We can carp and complain about the requirements for voting, about the inequities in campaigns and about the lack of real choice in candidates; but, to the rest of the world, we are still the best system to emulate.

We can complain about our culture that produces television shows and movies that are tasteless and pointless; but, to the rest of the world, there are images of freedom, happiness and consumption that inspire whole political movements.

During our protracted presidential election campaigns, we complain about the bitter infighting and partisan bickering. In third-world countries, the citizens fight to be allowed to participate in the election process, sometimes at risk of death for not accepting the offered candidates and voting as the military and the party requires.

For the last five years, we've experienced some of the most turbulent economic times since The Great Depression. We can't forget that our economic troubles were not limited to just our own country. Around the world, the economies of entire countries are being bailed out by The World Bank, and the tangled finances of those many countries turn small developments into catastrophic events.

Even during tough economic times, the American standard of living is still the envy of others. Even though it sometimes means that we buy everything on credit and live far beyond our means, we eat well, in nice homes, with all the amenities. Our toughest times are luxurious compared to much of the rest of the world.

During this Independence Day week, I urge everyone to realize that the United States of America, for all its flaws, is still the envy of the world. We have the capability to share with our fellow citizens around the globe how good life really can be and to help promote the best life that can be lived.

We can show the world that we are a diverse nation of races, religions, philosophies and creeds; but, we are united as one. We can show, as we have for 236 years, that our nation is many united as one. We can show that, for all our many disagreements and differences, we can still come together when it is needed and be the UNITED States of America.

It’s all just my opinion.

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