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  Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:16 AM

All Americans Should Be Grateful for Their Country

By Paul S. Gardiner
February 10, 2019


The late political commentator Charles Krauthammer stated, in describing the constitutional republic established by America's founders in 1787, that "[t]he American system was and is the most realistic in understanding the fallen condition of the human being." As a former psychiatrist and student of human behavior, Krauthammer understood and believed in the axiom that, except in rare instances, power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hence, the unique system of legislative, executive, and judicial "checks and balances" established in America's constitution was designed to prevent the abuse of power by one person or ruling faction.

Krauthammer was grateful for his nation and wished for his fellow citizens to join him in this gratitude. In fact, he states in The Point of It All that "you know firsthand in your bones what a blessed place America is and the role we have played in protecting our friends and protecting liberty." He agreed with Abraham Lincoln that America is "the last best hope of Earth."

President Ronald Reagan once stated, "The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become." No doubt, he was grateful for America and the freedom it provides for its citizens.

Being grateful for something means being appreciative of benefits received and being thankful for something or some act that has occurred. Gratitude (being grateful) is important because it can lead to the character strength of humility. We Americans should feel both grateful and humbled in remembering and honoring our nation's formation and the many sacrifices of previous generations of Americans.

Regrettably, in recent years, there has been a concerted, increased effort by many in the academic, political, and entertainment professions to criticize and otherwise portray America as something of an evil and undeserving country. People speaking negatively about America like to highlight and emphasize the most glaring examples of American wrongs committed against different peoples such as American Indians and slaves imported from abroad. For sure, many serious wrongs were committed, but seldom highlighted or discussed are the truly beneficial and good things the American nation and its people have done and brought forth (and continue to bring forth) for not only themselves, but also literally hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Regarding American Indians, some college professors fail to educate students about the warring and combative nature of American Indian tribes concerning control of hunting grounds and other aspects of competing tribal societies. Tribal warfare was a common feature of many American Indians, and as such, they were not simply peaceful inhabitants of the land taken advantage of by early American settlers. As humans, many American Indians no doubt suffered from the same basic frailty as their European counterparts regarding lust for power, land, captives, slaves, and so forth.

Regarding slavery in America, it took a vicious and long civil war (1861 to 1865) at a cost of over 600,000 lives and hundreds of thousands maimed to eradicate the scourge of slavery in America, but it was eventually eradicated. The costs of this war and the willingness of hundreds of thousands of Caucasian Americans ultimately to fight and die to free Afro-American slaves are facts sometimes purposely omitted by college professors wanting to stress only the evils of slavery in America.

Regarding the good things the American nation and its people have done and brought forth (and continue to bring forth), a CNN report states that "in the annals of human history, there has never been a country as compassionate and generous as the United States. When Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian novelist who defied communism, visited America, he said, 'The United States has long shown itself to be the most magnanimous, the most generous country in the world. Wherever there is a flood, an earthquake, a fire, a natural disaster, an epidemic, who is the first to help? The United States. Who helps the most and unselfishly? The United States.'" Much to be grateful for here.

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