Let’s get this out of the way early: I love America. I know America isn’t perfect. I know we have a flawed past. I know we have significant issues, but I’m pretty sick of hearing about how terrible we are.
If you are a poor white kid, America is a pretty good place to grow up. If your an affluent Latino kid, America is a pretty great place to grow up. If you are a middle-class black kid, America is a pretty good place to grow up. If you are an Asian kid, America is a fantastic place to grow up.
I am in no way trying to make a case that every person has the same opportunity to succeed. Naturally, we can do more. Yes, we can do better. But we are doing better. We are and have come so far from where we once were. Let us not throw our unique sense of American grit and determination out with the fight to get even better.
WAIT! STOP! Before you throw my white privilege back at me, give me a chance. I know first-hand that we aren’t perfect. I get that we still have challenges with racism. I understand that the wealth gap is significant and can be disturbing. I know we have crime in our streets and corruption in our capital buildings. But we are still the most incredible opportunity to bring hope, freedom, and prosperity to this messed up world.
Like most of you, I wasn’t raised in wealth. I have no silver-spooned heritage. I went to work at thirteen and haven’t stopped since then. Working for what you get and what you can give away is a powerful accomplishment. It will cause your skin to thicken and your heart to soften at every turn. And that, my friend, is as American as it can get.
It’s ridiculous to stay in the binary thought of this age. An example of binary thinking is choosing a fiscally conservative platform and giving away a socially compassionate heart. Or be required to select an overly progressive platform and surrender fiscal wisdom to attain it. That’s ridiculous. Why not have a voice of reason that can stand firm on budgetary conservatism and have the heart to serve people in need? I am convinced that the majority of Americans would choose that lane. But someone has to stay calm enough, strong enough, and sound enough to make that case. Now is the time to stop the foolishness of binary, party-first platforms and put wisdom and reason at the forefront.
It’s ridiculous to cancel what we can learn from. No matter how badly we would like to change history, it can not be done. You cannot change the good, and you cannot change the bad. You can, however, learn from both. A reasoned response is let’s do better. Let’s learn from our mistakes, and let’s rise above them. Let us be an American people that do not stay in the sorrow of our past. We did not stay in taxation to England. We did not stay in the poverty of the Great Depression. We did not stay in the legalization and sin of slavery. And given reasoned, gathered wisdom, we will not remain divided. Our future is being determined as we learn from our past and our past year. Once again…we are far from perfect, but where would this world be without all of the good that the United States of America has done? Where on earth will we be if we do not stay the course, learn from our past, and better our kid’s future? One thing is crystal clear to me. To continue electing men and women that cannot see forward but languish in the spats of party politics, well, is just ridiculous!
And finally, as I finish this rant, it is ridiculous to not passionately strive to move forward and rebuild out of this pandemic. I have felt the fear of COVID-19. I have seen its deadly wake. I’ve counseled too many families that have suffered and lost most if not all of the business that they sacrificed to build. I’ve seen families struggle with aging parents and struggling children. But friends, to lay low and not aggressively push to allow some sane sense of normalcy to return is criminally ridiculous. Get your vaccinations. Take every precaution you need to take. But get moving forward! We have endured far worse plaques in our storied history, and we will survive this one!
Friends, there is much ridiculousness in our world, but dog-gone-it, this is America. It’s not perfect; it’s not always easy. It’s certainly not always equal. But where else, on this globe, can freedom, hope, and peace rain down from sea to shining sea? Where else can the world strive to emulate freedom? Where else can parents dream of raising their children with greater opportunity? Where else can hard work, kindness, and risk be rewarded, like the USofA? That’s right…nowhere else on the planet.
I will not stop striving to make our country better any more than you will. But let’s stop apologizing for being American, and start learning our lessons, together. We are far better together. We are more robust, kinder, sacrificial, and wiser together. Together, let’s serve each other, love each other, pull for each other, and celebrate the better days that are ahead of us together. By God’s grace, we are America. Let’s live like it and leave all this ridiculousness behind us. All of our diversity is what makes us better. Celebrate that, not what is simply ridiculous.