Saturday, November 15, 2008

America '08: One Big Dysfunctional Family

Posted by TDaddy
I took my six-year-old daughter to an NHL game last night. I always try to get there in time for the National Anthem -- especially when one of my children are with me. As I removed my hat and we sang "and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there..." I looked at the flag and then back at my daughter and wondered what the soldiers defending Fort Henry in 1814 would think about these United States nearly two hundred years later. Surely, they would not recognize much. But, they would no doubt be proud to have defended what became and has remained the strongest democratic republic in history through which personal freedoms and economic opportunity have spread to most of the world.

Although my chosen political party lost the election last week and the balance of power is now firmly in the hands of Democrats, when I pause for the national anthem I can't help but feel a continued and abiding sense of pride to be a small part of this American experiment. The power wielded by the governing President -- especially when his own party controls the Legislature is immense. And yet the founders of this nation were brilliant enough to devise a system with sufficient checks and balances among the three branches that the majority party is never able to manage complete consensus - let alone rule as a the monarchs of England once did. Now, as we make the 44th peaceful transition of Executive federal power, we are vividly reminded of the reasons the rest of the world looks to us for leadership. Without the United States, this world would be a vastly different place. It is no small coincidence that dictators have been thrown out in much of the world and replaced by governments that necessarily provide more freedoms to their citizens including the right to chose their leaders and follow their own dreams. These world developments had their origin in the loud cry of human freedom exercising its strength and pride from America. Still, there are billions who live under tyranny, but we can take solace in the fact that the unrelenting force from the human desire to be free has spread from our nation and it will eventually find its home in more places as the oppressed hear about what freedom can be.


It is true that I have sharp differences with some of the stated policies of President-elect Obama's administration. However, those differences cannot diminish the pride I hold being an American and the hope I harbor for the future of this great nation. Every time we have a national election, my pride and hope is given new strength. Some 55 million voted for his opponent last Tuesday, and yet Mr. Obama will be OUR President. We are like a family: we honestly -- and sometimes brutally -- shout our differences at home, but we passionately defend each other on the streets of the world. Let us never forget the ties that bind together as Americans. I look forward to the next four years as an opportunity to freely speak my opposition to polices I believe go against the nation's best interests while at the same time putting my hand over my heart in support of this great nation. Our best days are still ahead of us.

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