04 Jul A Call for Intelligent, Informed Patriotism
As Americans prepare for fireworks, family gatherings and BBQ feasts to celebrate Independence Day 2015, we should all take a serious, silent moment to re-dedicate ourselves to patriotism. Not soppy, thoughtless or shallow patriotism, but intelligent, informed patriotism.
Here are a few among the millions of reasons to love America. They reflect on the culture of basic American goodness.
• Americans are the most generous people on earth, year after year. We are generous to those in need around the world, and to our fellow Americans.
• America takes in more immigrants than any other nation in the world, about a million a year. Year after year.
• Our free market economic system has produced unparalleled prosperity for Americans at all income levels, so that the poorest 10% of Americans live better than 70% of the rest of the world.
• Americans historically asserted and protected rights that millions in the world still yearn for—freedom of speech, religion and assembly, and the freedom to pursue and build a better life for our children via hard work, in an orderly society where uniform laws and not imperfect men rule.
These are all reasons to love and appreciate America, but not reasons to be patriotic.
Patriotism at it most meaningful is loyalty to the extraordinary founding ideals that molded and shaped this great land, that are designed to perpetuate liberty in perpetuity.
Patriotism is part gratitude to our Founders that our country sprang out of the precious idea that we have a full panoply of rights from God, just because we were born. Regardless of our race, ethnicity, wealth or poverty. Our nation was founded on the noblest ideas on earth, like freedom, ordered liberty, rule of law, personal responsibility coupled with individual freedom, and a government restrained as far as possible from unnecessarily interfering in our lives. Our Founders constructed a system to empower the common man, the little guy, the average citizen.
America stands alone as the freedom leader in the world. And freedom is a noble quality that still today is rare, precious and fragile for most of the world. Even here, as President Ronald Reagan wisely warned us “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
Let’s take a moment this Independence Day to re-dedicate ourselves to preserving American-style freedom, and to the intelligent and informed patriotic love of America.