America is great when Americans are great.
Make America Great again! What a line. Reagan had it first, of course, and did it with optimism. Running on a slogan of making America great, greater, or great again has real appeal to most Americans because we do love our country. We should. It is great, has been great, and can continue to be great.
Of course, it can always be greater.
America is in search of a “more perfect union” since her inception. Sometimes, we are greater than at other times. Some bristle at the idea that America is great or ever was great. Others mock Mr. Trump because they think we were already great. Like her people, America can always be greater. She must be greater.
I like to say, if you want to make America great, you need to make great Americans.
Governments don’t do that. Families and communities do that. If you are waiting for a party, a government, or a red hat to make America as great as you hope, you will be disappointed. You … yes, you … you must make America great on your own.
Start at home.
For some people, America will never be great. They want something from it America doesn’t promise and cannot deliver. They want equality of outcome and they demand their happiness guaranteed. I’m sorry, humanity hasn’t figured either of those out yet, and neither of them is a duty or promise of our country. Being great isn’t a natural right, it’s an aspiration.
America is great. She’s not perfect.
An angry young activist created a firestorm when she wore this hat during the election. Funny, when I first typed this, I accidentally typed, “wore this hate.” That works too. You choose.
Smile Ms. Lake, America is better than you think.
A country that makes and creates fame for a cynic can’t be all bad? Ms. Lake, minimally skilled, a deep chip on her shoulder, and filled with political rage, sits in a country that permits just that rage. That’s pretty great. Still, many like Ms. Lake continue to ask the question she did after she created this fire-storm … when was America great?
Could it be this young woman really doesn’t know when America was great, or when America is great? Read a book young lady, it’s a better investment than that hat … or that hate.
Let’s see … when was/is America great?
- Well, we saved the entire planet from Nazi occupation and destruction. That was great.
- We stopped a fanatical, suicidal religious cult in imperial Japan. That was great.
- We give more money to charity than any country on earth. That’s great.
- Our corporations give more money to community organizations than all other countries combined. Wow, that’s great.
- We have one of the highest standards of living on earth, the most wealth, and unfettered opportunity without regard to class, race, or socio-economic background. That’s great.
- When tragedy strikes around the world, we provide more aid, support, and expertise in greater numbers than all other countries on earth. That’s great.
- We have a Constitutional Bill of Rights to protect us from our own government. That’s great.
- We landed on the moon. That was great.
- We landed on Mars with a robot and took lots of pictures. That’s great.
- We are the world leader in technology and innovation … and millionaires. That’s great.
- We permit more immigration than any country, and we have one of the few truly diverse nations because of it. That’s great.
- People are literally paddling homemade boats to get here, or walking thousands of miles to do so. We must be pretty great.
- When tyranny in any form stamps out liberty, we send our soldiers to secure freedom, and never to conquer. That’s great.
- We created a country where a young bi-racial baby born to a white woman and an immigrant Kenyon in an era of discrimination could grow up and be President. That’s amazingly great.
- Moms and dads volunteer countless hours in youth activities from sports to music, to education for their kids and communities. That’s great.
- We created an imperfect country over 200 years ago and introduced liberty and capitalism raising billions from poverty. That seems great.
- We mistreated our people and institutionalized slavery … then we changed and fixed it. That change was great.
- We continue to work towards a more-perfect union. That’s great.
America has been less than great, and that’s on us too. We are people, bound by the frailties of being human. We created one sensational system of liberty, and yes, we applied it primarily to white, male, property owners. Then we made it better.
Learning from our mistakes, growing, accepting responsibility, and working to change … that’s how we become great as people and as a nation.
Do you want to make it better still? It won’t happen in fatherless families or in a Kardashian culture. It won’t happen by running down your country or adopting a party-based, myopic, political religion. It can’t be done by division. It can’t be done by legislation or executive fiat. It can’t be done by one man or one woman alone. Yet, it must be done, one American at a time.
America is only as great as her Americans. Keep repeating that.
Here are a few ways you can make your America greater today.
- Stop hating.
- Stop demanding.
- Stop taking.
- Start giving.
- Start cooperating.
- Be selfless.
- Challenge your own views before you challenge another’s.
- Marry someone and live in love, respect, and commitment.
- Raise your family to think, read, love, and be educated.
- Respect your neighbors.
- Respect your families.
- Respect yourself.
- Stand for the anthem, and sing like you are the luckiest bastard on earth.
- Say the pledge of allegiance like every word is a solemn oath.
- Don’t burn our flag.
- Respect our flag.
- Protect our flag.
- wave our flag … and only our flag.
- Read the Constitution.
- Put your name on any criticism.
- Offer solutions with any criticism.
- Be a critic, not a hater.
- Be a skeptic, not a cynic.
- If you can’t see the shining city on the Hill, ask directions.
- Treat people with respect, until they prove they don’t earn it.
- Show the disrespectful how it’s done by positive action.
- Prepare to fight, and do it as little as possible.
- Prepare for peace, and do it as much as possible.
- Be fair.
- Be equitable.
- Be merciful.
- Be just.
- Be consistent.
- Reward good behavior.
- Demonstrate good behavior.
- Preach liberty.
- Demonstrate liberty.
- Respect liberty.
None of that requires a political party, an advanced degree, or any color, creed, gender, or orientation. We are the Americans. Every day, your life takes place in a little part of the geography called America. Why not make your America great again, and let’s see if that spreads?
I really am sorry that Ms. Lake grew up thinking, believing, and living a life where America isn’t or wasn’t ever great. I hope she decides to make it great for herself and others. That’s up to her. I am doing my part.
We endeavored to create “a more perfect” union. The guys who wrote and signed the Constitution, from which that line of the preamble comes, they are dead. This grand experiment of making America great falls on the shoulders of the living.
America was great. America is great. And America can be even greater. Now, let’s do our part.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is a trial Attorney and author of the new book on higher education, “Of Serfs and Lords: Why College Tuition is Creating a Debtor Class”
Rich is a former Assistant Law School Dean and Law Professor. At Mason Law Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP, drawing on his expertise as a former CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud.
Before returning to private practice, Rich taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation.
He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV. Rich has appeared on hundreds of stations as a legal expert or political commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL.
Rich also writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.