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A Discourse on America

Updated on January 20, 2020
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.

Introduction

This article is an attempt to explain America. I will do so by way of Q and A as if in a class environment. The interaction is a way to motivate the reader to think about what is being discussed. We take many things for granted, especially the millennial generation. Since they grew up in America, they assume this is the norm. They take for granted our freedom, our liberty and our way of life. Such is not the case in other countries. Why are we different and unique?

- Jan. 2020

Some Background...

I will start by stating some facts. These are readily available on the internet. If you disagree with any of my statements, or the accuracy, I welcome you to do your own research and prove me wrong. I want establish a basic understanding of our country and make sure we are all on the same page. Then, and only after then, we can proceed to discuss how did we get here and why?

  1. We are the wealthiest nation in the world, total GDP.
  2. We have the best armed forces with the most advanced equipment and best trained servicemen, and advanced weapon systems, both offense and defense.
  3. We hold the most number of patents.
  4. We have the most number of Nobel winners.
  5. We have the most Olympic medals overall.
  6. We have the most diverse population among all nations.
  7. We are one of the most educated population among all nations.
  8. We produce the most amount of food that feed ourselves and the rest of the world.
  9. We are the most generous of all populations, in both government and private.
  10. We are the best equipped to deal with major natural disasters.
  11. We are the only nation that has put men on the surface of the moon.
  12. We are a mostly Christian nation.

These statements are true. Despite the fact we are only 5% of the world population 330 million out of 7 billion. Our country land mass is only 3rd behind Russia and Canada.

What Explains Our Success...

Assume you agree with the statements above, the next question is what is the reason for our amazing success?

There are several possibilities which we can explore each one.

1. We are blessed with a rich land full of natural resources...

2. We made use of slaves which help build our country...

3. We were a colonial nation and exploited the countries we conquered.

4. We were just lucky and were at the right place at the right time.

5. We cheated the natives that were here first.

6. We created a good system of government that allowed our people to thrive.

My Thesis...

I am a Constitutionalist. I believe it is our unique Constitution that was established in 1789 that allowed our people and our government to become the greatest success story of our world.

Some key elements...

  • Freedom and liberty
  • Private ownership
  • Free enterprise
  • Blind justice and due process
  • Free elections
  • Check and balances of the three Branches of Government
  • Right to bear arms
  • Freedom of religion

How Do We Preserve This?

It was Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the US, who said

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

This is the warning for our future. If we don't pass on these knowledge, the future can be bleak. We can loose all that was gained.

My personal believe is that we will prevail regardless. However, why should we allow things to get bad before we step in to correct the course?

This refers to the current millennial generation where over 50% of them are accepting of socialism as the model for economic systems. They were taught this in the halls of higher learning, in many of our universities by liberal professors.

We need a better public education system that will propagate the basic civics to preserve our way of life.

What Is Happening To Upset This?

What is happening right now in 2020...

1. We have a party that stands for more illegal immigration.

2. We have over 100 cities that are proud to claim their sanctuary policy.

3. We have schools that embrace dual language or bi-lingual education.

4. We have a government that is out of control in terms of taxes and spending.

5. We have a Federal Reserve that is printing money and artificially suppressing interest rates.

6. We have large international corporations that are avoiding paying taxes while hiring lobbyists to gain special favors from government.

7. We have unelected judges that are activists and take upon themselves to dictate foreign policy.

8. We have a House of Representative and a Speaker that is acting out of partisanship and not doing their job to legislate.

9. We have a broken immigration system that allows record number of people coming over our borders seeking assylum.

10. We have a politicized FBI and DOJ which were used to investigate presidential candidates using FISA warrants intended to keep tabs on foreigners.

Capitalism vs. Socialism

pA recent survey at DAVOS, shows the majority of people think Capitalism in recent years has done more harm than good. Really?

  • income inequality is growing wider
  • environment is being harmed by our consumerism
  • climate change is harming our long term survival
  • growing homeless problem around our cities
  • refugees are created by environmental disasters such as drought and wild fires.

The current debate in our country is whether capitalism as exemplified by Trump and his successes with Wall Street is the right direction or democratic socialism as proposed by most of the Democratic candidates as a better alternative.

The way I see it, there are some criticism and issues with the status quo but the answer is not to throw it out and go in the opposite direction. Sometimes, the cure is worse than the disease. This is not an intellectual exercise. We have seen the devastating results of socialism in many countries. It is not just a theory. The problem with socialism is that sooner or later, you run out of other people's money. The current proposals by Democrats like Sanders and Warren of free higher education, forgiving of student debt, universal healthcare, and the Green New Deal are all pie in the sky concepts. Once you calculate the costs, they are just unrealistic.

Here is what we do know, Capitalism with all its faults has generated the greatest wealth for the most number of people. Despite the income inequality, more people have risen to the middle class with this system than any other competitive system.

The solution is to bring more people into the tent so that a rising tide will raise all boats. As the DOW rises above 29,000, the answer to poverty is to help more people participate in that growth. Some 50% of the population are invested right now. We need to education the population so that more of them will participate in their employee 401k programs or start IRA accounts. That number should be 90%. Everyone should participate in this market either individually or via a company pension plan.

What Is The Path Forward?

How can we restore, protect, preserve our nation the way it was intended by our Founding Fathers?

The oath of office -

Affirmation:—"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The way I see it, the solution is right in front of our eyes. As a nation, we need to follow our Constitution. We need to teach our children why we are a unique nation among all others.

We need to teach our history to the next generation.

Summary

I have outlined in this article what we need to do going forward. If you disagree, or have a different solution, please submit a comment below. This is a dialogue. I want to hear other opinions. We can debate this on HubPages.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jack Lee

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    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      15 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Marie, well said. I agree totally. Thanks for the personal account that makes your argument more valid. I also witness first hand people helping people, even here in NYC...it is how we are. When I had a car problem, people will stop and offer to help without asking anything in return. That is the common experience.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      15 months ago from Jacksonville, FL USA

      Liz, I love your comment. It reminds me a little of the healer who can take care of everyone else but himself.

      Jack, I have no argument about the Constitution being a great document. A piece of paper, though, is just that if the spirit intended in the words isn't embodied in the people themselves.

      I am a United States citizen by birth, but I grew up in a rural area. My great grandfather was an immigrant from Finland. My maternal grandfather was an immigrant from what is now Czechoslovakia.

      I would like to share a thought given by Swami Visnudevananda. "Too many rules kill the spirit."

      When people are free, they are more apt to be inspired. As the saying goes, "Where there is no vision, people perish . . ." --Proverbs 29:18

      What makes our country great are the people, people who are generous, think positively, are non-quitters, and are innovators. The spirit of freedom is what makes this country great.

      If the Constitution were perfect, there would be no need for amendments. The justices who interpret the law, too, are human.

      A good portion of the immigration problem is what the United States has brought upon itself through its foreign policy, which, by the way, is not outlined in the Constitution.

      In an underdeveloped rural area, people help people, especially where the elements are less kind, such as in northern climates. I still remember the man in the neighborhood who brought his threshing machine to our home so my dad could thresh the wheat or oats. The threshing machine was the only one for miles and went from farm to farm, each farmer helping to thresh his neighbor's grain. I still remember my father pulling a neighbor out of a snow bank and never asking for any return.

      Before the central banking system was created, people bartered--eggs for cloth, lumber for grain, a service for a service. At a grassroots level, these things still occur.

      What makes America great? The people and their spirit. If you quench the spirit with excessive rules and regulations, that spirit can wither and die.

      This country will make it through the millenium. There will be disasters and folks rising to the occasion. It's the way of it.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      15 months ago from Yorktown NY

      liz, I don't know about UK politics but in the States, things are crazy between the two parties right now. It is hard to believe how far apart the two parties can be...

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      15 months ago from UK

      In the UK we have been bogged down for several years in the Brexit mud and through three elections in 4.5 years. It's refreshing to take our minds off our problems and focus on the USA for a change.

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