The United States of America is 238 years old today. And, arguably, feeling its age. The country is polarized, but nearly every faction (though for different reasons) distrusts the government. Nearly every faction also (for different reasons) criticizes the culture. The patriotic legends of our history have been replaced with shame about slavery and how white people treated the Indians. The rest of the world seems to have little respect for us anymore. Our intellectual and artistic contributions are dragging. The one bright spot is technology, but we use it mostly for trivial reasons, and it comes at the cost of hacking, identity theft, and privacy violations. Most people would agree that America is very messed up right now. America is in the doldrums. And yet. . . .
Chesterton said something to the effect that we love our country in the same way that we love the members of our family. In spite of their faults, which we know all too well. In fact, a family member’s faults and problems properly bring out more love, since we want so badly to help.
So as a Fourth of July exercise, bring up things that you still love about this country. I’m not looking here for “how great we are” statements. Greatness is not necessarily a reason to love something. What are some characteristic things about America that, despite everything, make you love your country? I’ll go first, after the jump. [Read more...]