This weekend we look back and celebrate our nation’s birthday. It’s also a good time to look ahead. When we do, we see that America is (still) the world’s best hope. America’s ideals and leadership are the best hope for the peace, dignity and better life that people around the world aspire to. We can say that with confidence, not arrogance.
Why is America the world’s best hope?
1. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the best ideas anywhere
America was founded on the radical idea that all people are created equal and have the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These ideals have underpinned an extraordinary improvement in the human condition. Religious freedom, the rights of women and minorities, the rule of law. America is a source of inspiration.
2. America is the land of opportunity
People vote with their feet and the ‘votes’ show there is nowhere better than the United States to pursue one’s dreams. More people come to America than any other country in the world by a factor of four. Undoubtedly, many, many more would come if they could. Because of the opportunities America offers, our entrepreneurial economy generates the wealth that allows our nation to defend and advance the ideals we hold so dear.
3. Initiative, generosity & optimism – the spirit of America is alive and well
Every day in every part of the world, our citizens demonstrate the initiative, generosity and optimism that define the true spirit of America.
Generosity: Our citizens are the world’s most generous – doing more to help others than people in any other country. At Spirit of America we experience this generosity directly. More than 18,000 people have contributed to support America’s troops and diplomats and the local people they seek to help.
Initiative: Americans take on tough problems without being told to do it. They do it voluntarily, on their own initiative. Two examples of initiative and service by those who won’t be home to enjoy our July 4th celebrations. First, the brave men and women who serve our nation abroad are at it every day, defending freedom, protecting the innocent and helping the oppressed. Second, the Spirit of America field operations team is out there helping them. All military veterans, this week our field team is in Iraq, Niger, Uganda, Kenya and Kuwait.
Optimism: No one can give, and no one can undertake these challenges, without optimism – without the belief that personal efforts and initiative can make a difference.
Is it worth the price?
I’m 100% for celebrating the Fourth of July to its fullest, and I’ll do my part. However, being the world’s best hope isn’t much of a cause for celebration. It is a weighty responsibility. We have a lot to live up to and our government and military can’t do it alone.
Yesterday, at Fort Bragg I attended the change of command and retirement ceremony of Lieutenant General Charlie Cleveland. After 37 years of service, General Cleveland was stepping down as the Commander of the US Army Special Operations Command.
Late in a day filled with tributes and happy memories, Charlie said to me and WWII veteran Cy Mermelstein, “I think Americans accept that ‘freedom isn’t free.’ The thing I’m worried about is that people may not think it’s worth the price.”
At Spirit of America, we are committed to doing all we can. Please let me know your thoughts on this and how we’re doing. I hope you’ll be part of our team, help spread the word and support our work.
Please share this with family and friends.
Wishing you and yours a very happy Independence Day! Enjoy!
Jim Hake and the Spirit of America team