The United States of America has a past. Every country has done things that they are ashamed of, and we’re no different. The treatment of the Native Americans was a dark chapter for us, as was the slavery of Africans. We’ve treated immigrants poorly, from the Irish to the Chinese to the Mexicans. If we’re honest, it’s not all been a happy story.
I love my country, and so I can admit that it has problems. Children love their parents unconditionally, and refuse to see any flaws in them. But adults love their parents differently- seeing and accepting flaws. Maybe that uncomfortable racist remark at Thanksgiving dinner or that drinking habit that leads to bad behavior. I love my country like an adult loves their parents; with the understanding that it isn’t perfect. It’s not easy to admit, but it’s the truth.
Americans have our good points. Our culture is varied, and includes people from all the nations on Earth. We don’t always coexist peacefully, but we are learning to co-exist. That’s impressive given that most countries on this planet still have largely homogeneous populations and homogeneous culture. We have the opportunity to set an example for the world about what a real blended culture looks like. After all, as it becomes easier to move as national boarders start to mean less, the whole world will start to have varied demographics like the United States.
Country artist Brad Paisley wrote a song called “Welcome to the future,” in which he talks about how far we have come. It’s true. We have come a long way, and it’s important to give ourselves credit for the things we have already accomplished. Innovation and the advancement of science, building great universities and cities, and a space program that took us to the moon. The United States is a young country next to places like China with thousands of years of history, but we have done a lot in our short time and we have a lot to be proud of. I try to remember that all the time when I think about the problems that we are facing now.
My intention in this blog and the book it promotes is to talk about the problems that we have. It’s not out of hatred for my country. It’s not because I don’t love the land I was born in. In fact, the reverse is true. I do love my country. When I first left to travel the world, I saw things done better in other societies and felt desperate to find a way to immigrate elsewhere. That was a cowardly reaction. It’s not right to run away just because something isn’t as good as you want it to be, or because you could have an easier life somewhere else. I really love my country, and that’s why it’s my job to fight for it. I have a checkered past that would probably make me a bad choice to run for office, and I don’t have the right skill set to start an amazing company like Bill Gates. My talent is writing, and so this is all I could think to do for the country I love.
This series of angry rants is meant to highlight areas that need improvement, and areas we struggle with as a nation. Later, there will be a section on how to affect change (because every person can do things to help.) Don’t believe the lie you were sold that voting doesn’t matter, or that the problems are too big to solve and we should overthrow the government. These arguments are designed to keep you from taking back the power over our political system, and we need to stop buying into them and start making things better.