Thank you...to America View another article
 
On this Thanksgiving Day, amidst family and friends and sacrificial Butterballs, I sit and wonder what it is I truly have to be thankful for. My family (my life): that goes without saying. But what am I truly thankful for?

Being an American.

This is not a boastful post, saying that America is the best country because of x,y, and z. I'm sure many if not most people around the world are proud of their country as well.

But for me, I feel thankful for the gifts given to me not that long ago in the form of the American Constitution. It seems anachronistic and quaint to hearken back hundreds of years to the founding document of the country and how it affects us today; but the Constitution is precisely that document that allows us the richness of life we have today.

By setting in stone basic freedom for American citizens, this has allowed us to vote for politicians that would serve us rather than rule over us. Every 2 years we could replace our Congressman, which is enormously powerful. We can shape how government interacts with industry, with our civil liberties, with our countries, every 2 years like clockwork.

It is this constant death and rebirth, the adjustment of the rudder of the American ship, which can cause pain but ultimately is the will of the American people. And America has adjusted in our history, often violently. But we have always mended and gone about our business until the next conflict inevitably happens.

Do politicians lie to us? Of course, most politicians are artful liars to advance to the national stage. But Americans are not tolerant of liars, and such politicians are voted out of office eventually. Are their politicians that are crooks? Of course, like there is with any position of power. Such politicians must be shamed, rejected, and stripped of their power as has happened in the past and will happen in the future.

And what have these freedoms in America wrought? The freedom to create a business and make it successful, the freedom to protest your government, to have whatever lifestyle you choose, to speak freely on any matter privately or publicly. Much of your life and the freedom you have in it owes itself in part to the Constitution; think how different it would be if you did not have such freedoms.

Does that freedom mean that we all can be rich, can be successful? Unfortunately, no. It's not easy at all, in fact it's very hard. But those freedoms given to all us mean that we all have the opportunity to do better; and we all have a voice in our government regardless.

A republic can be a clumsy thing; many pine for the "benevolent dictator" who can bring order from chaos. But this is a horrible idea. Any dictator has been shown to act in their own interest, not in the interest of the people. Once the people have no power, they lose hope that they can improve their lives at all. Apathy sets in.

But that clumsiness of a republic is always renewing; it's always a new day after Election Day to try to correct the mistakes of the past and forge ahead in the interests of Americans. It is such power that we have over politicians that allows them to respond to OUR needs, even if it takes some time.

And we must always be vigilant, to ensure that no politician gets too much power, acts for themselves and against the interests of Americans, or forgets that he/she is working for us. We must remind politicians of this constantly by removing them of their power.

So fellow Americans, all of us, on every side of the political spectrum: let's toast to liberty, to each other here and for around the world, that it's flame shall never die out.
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