Friday, October 17, 2008
What I Love About America: A Stubbornly Positive, Non-Partisan Salute
The election is almost here. There is bad news all around. The campaign managers on both sides are getting desperate. It is hazardous to one's blood pressure to turn on any media outlet. I choose to transcend rather than submit. No matter what happens on Nov. 4th, America will endure. That is a big deal. I'm shamelessly proud to be an American, no matter who is president, because dang it, America works-and even if governments and state-run news agencies all over the world hate us, all their people want to come live here. So here is what I thought about today that I love about America:
As I drove around, I saw lots of signs supporting one candidate or another. All of them are elegant and pretty simple. Just a name and maybe a logo. I love that in America, we have no freakish, painted portraits of our leaders staring down at us from public buildings everywhere. I love that it is not mandatory to put up statues of the sitting president in every town square.
I love that, even though it is imperfect and gets abused, there is an election system that mostly works. Americans are decent people who like to live by the rules, and even though the wacky few on both sides who don't are the ones who make the news, most of us, regardless of our political party, still take turns at 4-way stop signs and vote honestly.
I love that the lady who checks me in at our polling place is my neighbor Wendy, and she is not guarded by a soldier with a sub-machine gun in his hand. It reminds me that no matter what is happening down there inside the beltway, most of the real work of America is done in homes and schools and churches and county council meetings and soccer games and that We the People will carry on doing good and helping each other. Really-no matter what!
I even love (in principle) the yelling back and forth in the news. I'll take freedom of speech and an ugly ad any day because I can also have Jon Stewart and The Capitol Steps to make me laugh about it later. We are passionate because we can be, and it is amazing and awesome to me that we can express our opinions and even shout at each other all we want and feel pretty sure that nobody is going to pull a gun on their opponent, and no government official is going to pull the plug on the broadcast. I love that Tina Fey's family doesn't have to worry about her disappearing in the middle of the night and that a candidate can publicly take the high road and refuse to suborn bigotry in one of his supporters. I love that in America, after a long day of political posturing, we get into our jammies, laugh at ourselves on late-night tv and then get up in the morning and get on with life.
I love America and the elegance of our Constitutional Republic. If Obama wins, whether you agree with him or not, I believe it is appropriate to respect the office and acknowledge his victory as yet another amazing, peaceful, bloodless change of government. That is a miracle in this crazy world. It actually is. I am grateful that though we are dealing with difficult times, I am not in fear that a civil war is going to break out on November 5th. I pray for all the mothers in the world who are not so lucky.
The Real America is found in the strength, the persistance and the muleheaded determination of her people to be free. Freedom will always come at a price, whether it is a revolution or a contentious election, and I believe that freedom to be worth the price. So bring it on America! Take a stand! Shout it to the rooftops because you can! In the end, we're all on the same side and America will endure.
Posted by Kellie on Friday, October 17, 2008