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America –love it or leave it?

July 3, 2017

Various news outlets and polling organizations report that in Americans under 50, love of country, i.e. patriotism, has declined markedly since 9/11, with the steepest declines being in people in the millennial generation.

As always, you have to consider the source. However even if you average them all out, there does seem to be a lack of pride in the country, with the 18 to 49 age group who are “extremely” proud to be an American declining by an average of 25% according to a 2016 Gallup poll. Among the 18-29 generation, up to 39% are reported to dislike America either strongly or somewhat.

You can blame that on a lot of things, not the least of which is the often abysmal lack of emphasis in our schools on civics and accurate historical context for the country’s history, a legacy being handed down from the liberal left movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

However, affixing blame is not going to change the  minds of anyone who thinks America is not the best place to live.

So on this 4th of July, which by the way is also known as Independence Day,  for those young people, here’s a thought.

Go live somewhere that you do think you would want to live for five years or so. Don’t try to change it, just experience it.

That doesn’t mean we should ship everyone who thinks America sucks off to some hellhole. You don’t learn much about another country’s culture if you become brain dead in the first 90 days after you arrive there, as did poor Otto Warmbier.

It also doesn’t mean going over with some aid group, where your experience is not typical of an ordinary citizen’s life. That’s dishonest.

If after five years, you think that Greece or France or Germany or Italy or the Scandinavian countries are better places to live, renounce your American citizenship and stay there. You’ll be happier, and our country will probably be stronger.

America isn’t perfect. As nations and countries go, even at 241, the United States is still sorting it all out.

But remember this.  America was founded by people who came from countries where the state was all-powerful. People who are immigrating are leaving dictatorships today for a reason.

If you feel you have trash the USA to be trendy, then the United Nations recognizes 195 countries. Surely you can find someplace you would like in the 194 that aren’t America.

For the rest of us, Happy 241st, America. It’s going to be a great party!

From → op-ed

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