Proud to Be an American

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By Jackie Cushman

I am proud to be an American. Yes, I know that our system of government is not perfect, but I firmly believe that it is the best in the world. We are an exceptional country — not because our people are exceptional but because we have a different and exceptional structure of government. I am grateful that I was born an American.

We declared our independence from Great Britain 243 years ago this week. It happened after years of overreaching rule by King George III and Britain’s insistence on taxation without representation. We had had enough.

The taxation began in the 1760s. The Boston Massacre occurred in 1770, the Boston Tea Party in 1773 and the battles of Lexington and Concord in April of 1775.

Patrick Henry’s call to action, “Give me liberty or give me death,” made in the spring of 1775, was the first strong public statement that if we were to be free, then we would have to fight Britain. Before that, we believed that we could negotiate with Britain.

Henry stated it clearly: Our choice was liberty or death.

Our founders chose to take the challenge and declared our independence from Britain on July 4, 1776. When they signed the declaration, they knew that they were putting their lives at risk. They British would see them as traitors. Yet, they signed.

Our Declaration of Independence proclaims: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The declaration of these so-called self-evident truths sets us apart. Other nations are founded on power belonging to an individual (dictator) or a government (communism). That individual or government then gets to determine what rights are given to people.

In our country, it is the exact opposite: All rights belong to the people, and we loan them to the government. But it is up to each generation to ensure that the government does not overstep and overrun individual rights.

According to a Gallup poll released this week, the level of pride in our country is the lowest recorded since Gallup started asking about it in 2001. While "70% of U.S. adults overall say they are proud to be Americans, this includes fewer than half (45%) who are 'extremely' proud." There is a large split between Democrats (22%) and Republicans (76%), reflecting the polarizing nature of our current political environment.

The top areas of pride were "American scientific achievements (91%), the U.S. military (89%), American culture and arts (85%), economic (75%) and sporting (73%) achievements, and diversity in race, ethnic background, and religion (72%)."

The two areas that fall below the 50% mark for all Americans are the "political system (32%) and health and welfare system (37%)."

There is a large gap between how Republicans and Democrats feel about the political system, with 42% of Republicans reporting being proud of it versus only 25% of Democrats.

The other area with a large gap between Republicans and Democrats is American economic achievements, where 89% of Republicans report being proud versus 64% of Democrats.

As both Republicans and Democrats responded that they are proud of most of the individual areas (6 out of 8), it seems that feelings about the current political environment are overshadowing the balance. This, too, is a problem in our current polarized environment. Not everything should be political, but increasingly, everything is viewed through a political lens.

Interestingly, while we might be at a low point in terms of pride in our country, we are still incredibly attractive to people from other countries. Daily, thousands of people are flooding across our southern border.

While our imperfect system of government might cause some to not feel proud of our country, I take pride in the fact that it nevertheless allows each of us to participate in our country's governing. We just have to step up and make sure our voices are heard.

Just as our Founding Fathers fought for our freedom over 200 years ago, we must continue to fight to ensure that our government remains ours and our freedoms remain intact.

11 thoughts on “Proud to Be an American”

  1. None of my Family or Friends are at a low point! We are and always have been Proud of The United States of America!….and Proud to be Americans!!!

  2. The gang is like a hot firecracker, a short burn then a pop and they have burned themselves out — having achieved nothing but smoke and stink. And this too shall pass. Hold the faith and wait them out.

  3. True rights come from God only, and we don’t “loan” them to government. We give government the responsibility to protect those rights from those who would usurp them, with only those powers necessary to do that— by constitutional contract. While all nations are under God, we have been one nation that acknowledges it.

  4. Republicans enjoy the song, proud to be an American, while Democrats want Stalin, Hitler, Hajj El Husssanni Mohammad Amin and Communist, Socialist, Marxist, and Islamic murder of Jews.

  5. I am extremely proud to be an American for what our Great Country stands for and of all the people working hard to uphold our rights, that being said we also have a great responsibility to keep our country safe, the people that abuse the systems we have in place need to be dealt with sometimes it is tough, but we need to protect our boarders or we will suffer the same fate as others that have not protected themselves. Everyone coming into this land must understand the common language spoken here, as any where in the world this should be a condition of citizenship at least a working grasp of it, however it is not a requirement, so communication can be established, how can anyone survive without this simple bond.

  6. I ‘m proud to American where I can freely, proudly, openly, honestly. and to be who I want to be guarantee by the US Constitution by which it hold the People are sovereign not the government and its institutions. The Democrap Party have not taken responsibility for the Jim Crowe Culture for which they are solely responsible for and other horrible acts.

  7. Why do you always refer to “immigrants”? It’s a term that implies LEGAL immigrants. Of course I approve of LEGAL Immigrants!. This great nation is built on immigrants from every nation in the world. Your site implies those who are illegal. Why not use the correct term? I say NO. We welcome all immigrnats from whatever country they come from but not those who are here illegaly.

  8. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill “our nation employs the worst form of governance there is, excepting all others”. It can be adjusted, but not significantly improved upon. No other country has benefited the world in humanitarian aid, protection from those that oppress, conquer, or otherwise invade other nations (usually at great loss of life), has so quickly righted wrongs, even when found acceptable by other countries (see slavery), endorses and guarantees it’s citizens so many rights and allows those citizens a substantial voice in their governance. There has never been before and I’m certain there shall never be again a nation as great as the United States.

  9. We have 26 million illegal aliens in our country and I bet that every one of them would vote low on loyalty. They did not com here to love America but to obtain its wealth.

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