today we celebrate...our independence.
my politics may be particularly cynical of what goes on in/by my country, but believe it or not, i'm pretty damn patriotic. there are many reasons why i think we've got something pretty special going on in these United States. much of it stems from underlying currents we possess more than most other nations...
we are all immigrants.
after a NY-visit, a friend said of his experience, "the diversity kind of punches you in the face." so true. if you look hard enough, that's America. we are a melting pot of huddled masses. it's not just the story of my family (or my wife's, sister's, or brothers'), it's that of yours - whether it be one, two, three or more generations back. we are all immigrants. well except maybe the Native Americans (sorry!) but even they crossed a land-bridge. when we focus on what we share in common - and what we each uniquely bring to the table - we are capable of great things. in my experience/observation, where we self-select away from those different from us (remember where i grew up), we unfortunately tend to slide back to the weaknesses of the old world, and lose what keeps us so special.
the fearless class.
people come here for something better. it's that hunger, not just for themselves, but for their children, that drives certain values, that supports us all and drives us forward. this hunger and drive leads to a sort of attitude (swagger?) that makes us think we can do anything. it includes, but is not limited to the recent innovation and entrepreneurism from the Silicon Valley. the likes of the Wrights, Tesla, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Einstein, Page, Brin, Musk, etc have brought world-changing ideas to bear, from which we all reap the benefits. you're welcome.
we (eventually) figure it out.
even though we we may first stumble and sometimes fall. while many recently political/judicial decisions ('Voting Rights' + 'Citizens United') continue to give me pause, others (DOMA) give me some faith and optimism. there's a great Frank Herbert quote that says something to the effect of how we should elect leaders that are uncomfortable with power, and once elected, we should continue to make them uncomfortable with that power. but i digress, as it's most certainly not just about our governance. it's not even our system of democracy (see India/Mexico) or controlled capitalism (see Brazil/China).
it's our people. it's something uniquely...American about
enough serious talk, let's get the flag-waving and fireworks. enjoy an "honest trailer" from an appropriate, long-past summer blockbuster we all enjoyed in our younger days...