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What makes America Great?

Recent years have felt like an escalating war between the beliefs that America is fundamentally flawed and that America is exceptional. Unless we can harmonize these two opinions, the preamble to the Declaration of Independence suggests an ominous solution:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

A generation of young people have been educated in the "America is flawed" version of history to a point that, to some, even Independence Day is considered hateful. How would you make your best case that America is Great to someone who doesn't believe it?

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We have reverted to being children again. We insist on getting our own way with crying and tantrums because we have had everything handed to us and not had any responsibility demanded of us. What we mistake for responsibility is pursuit of selfishness and insistence on our personal rights. We have forgotten that we are individuals in a union and as being part of that union comes with duties to help preserve it.

All countries have flaws, it is part of living and being human. Nothing will ever be or can be perfect. To dwell on only the flaws ignores all the amazing and good things this country has done. To ignore the flaws hides them from history that we can learn from. Because some people did something in the past that we today consider wrong does not make us bad today.

We need to grow back up again and shoulder the responsibilities our Founding Fathers asked of us. The problems we are suffering today are almost all based on our personal selfishness. Personal selfishness is a dirty concept in a world where we are perfect and all trouble rests on someone else.

Pand0ro Level 6 July 3, 2020

Yes! The key word is responsibility. The founding principles were centred around individual sovereignty, free will, and enjoyment of the rewards of your own pursuits. This is the opposite of the woke-progressive view of property rights, success and affluence as oppressive.

@GeeMac Very true. Many of the major problems plaguing us would be minor and solvable issues if every person would place a premium on personal responsibility and accountability.

@coalburned yes! And the realization that not taking personal responsibility means handing your freedom over to someone else.


Being a patriotic Canadian doesn’t stop me from also being a firm believer in American exceptionalism.

My grandfather proudly served in the US Army, and I’ve always viewed Uncle Sam as a liberator and a protector. America leads the world in terms of its massive economy, stable democratic institutions, in welcoming immigrants, extending humanitarian aid, innovation, creativity, self-reliance, respect for the individual and a culture that’s emulated the world over. America is the number one desired place of residence for people in every country on the face of the earth. Go to almost any American Embassy or Consulate on visa day and you’ll see people lined up to get in.

The struggle for America’s soul is not new. It reflects the great showdown between Enlightenment thinker John Locke, who profoundly influenced the founding fathers and American institutions, and French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose twisted ideas on the Enlightenment turned the French Revolution into an ongoing reign of terror that set the stage for Napoleon.

Today’s woke-progressives are the children of Rousseau, seeing civilization as the root of all evil, property as sinful, affluence as oppressive and inequity as the source of all social ills. Rousseau was obsessed with the idea of the “noble savage” and dreamed of a return to nature and communal paradise. America’s success refutes these ideas, and therefor, America must be destroyed.

While Rousseau saw man as pure and society as corrupting, Locke admitted man was flawed and sinful but could spend his life seeking redemption. Therefore, the Lockean approach rested on God-given rights, free will, discipline and the sovereignty of the individual. He was a strong believer in property rights, rewards for work and self-managed wealth. While he fought for equality before the law, Locke was a realist who acknowledged there would always be inequity in areas like wealth, merit and virtue.

Of course the US is flawed when compared to the imaginary utopias of Rousseau, or the progressives and Marxists who worship him; but compare America, from a Lockean point of view to any other nation on earth, and the exceptionalism is self-evident.

GeeMac Level 7 July 3, 2020


@GeeMac Well said! I'm convinced!

Brilliant. Thank you.


Have them talk to a recent immigrant, preferably not from a Muslim shit hole. Because of the indoctrination they received in government schools no long time citizen will be able to convince them of anything.

DAN_STL Level 7 July 3, 2020

What makes America great, and exceptional, is our system of government, fashioned as it was by men with a profound distrust of government and its natural tendency to accumulate more and more power. The underlying belief in the primacy if the individual is what gives our government meaning. Everything in its original structure was designed to prevent government from trampling on individual rights. It is probably the only government in history so designed.

From the instant of its founding, politicians have tried to undermine those rights. Even today, when those rights are under assault from all quarters, our enemies still haven’t been able to simply assume control, much as they might like to. That’s how strong we’re the original foundations.

John Adams said our Constitution was appropriate for a moral people. Our country is still great. Are we a people worthy of it? We are finding out right now.


The fact that people can talk bad about and outright disrespect this country from within is proof why America is great. The fact that people who dislike this country is proof how great the country is. The fact that the commies think they need to destroy history to destroy and take over the country proves how great the country is because they know they can't take the country when being eclipsed by it's greatness.

America is the greatest country ever, in my opinion. It was founded by people with great ideas who based their ideas off of many other great people and their great ideas.


“A generation of young people have been educated in the "America is flawed" version of history ...”

Would that this were true ... because its too simplistically stated.

Every 15 years (approximate) a new generation takes its place as “educators”.
In the 60s there was a beginning in the teaching of “Flawed History”

By the 80s people who had been thoroughly “educated” in “Flawed History” began teaching what They KNEW was “History” as flawed as it was because that is what They had been taught ... because THAT was what the “Reference Sources” they had been directed to said/reinforced.

By the 00s people who had been thoroughly “educated” in “Flawed History” by “Educators” who had been thoroughly “educated” in “Flawed History” began teaching what They KNEW was “History” as flawed as it was because that is what They had been taught ... because THAT was what the “Reference Sources” they had been directed to said/reinforced AND it seemed that there was little available contradictory information AND all tge books they cared to read simply reinforced this narrative.

Now, in the 20s, MOST People claim to KNOW HISTORY because they don’t know enough to know how to question what they’ve been “taught”.

Honestly, I think the BEST way to Start to Re-educate these people is to FORCE them to attempt to live with little outside help in some of these “paradises” ... like, Red China, Venezuela, Russia and SEVERAL Other places. Once they have SEEN for Themselves the “difference” it MIGHT Awaken an Honest Curiosity as to WHY what they were taught and what REALITY reveals is SO Different.

Also, “Government and Civics” should be a REQUIRED Course 3 Times ... maybe in 4th, 9th and 12th Grades.

Also, I believe that “Government and Civics and History Educators” should be strictly tested as to the content of their “understanding” of History AND Monitored as to What They Teach. Those who FAIL either aspect should NOT Be ALLOWED to “Teach” these courses.

Actually, I am of the thought process that NO “Teacher” should EVER “Teach” a Course or Curriculum that they are NOT Very Familiar with.

We the people make america great

@JVIP-WTPNN yes. people have to be mostly good or the whole thing is impossible. like it or not, that means that most people had better have some sort of religious belief or it just won't work

That’s exactly what happened. John Locke, who influenced the founding fathers, admitted we were flawed, and that life was about evolving beyond the flaws, through individual sovereignty, hard work, and enjoyment of the rewards. The woke-progressive demand for utopia is in itself, flawed. Like assuming we could ever achieve a society free of crime or murder or inequality (except before the law). It’s ridiculous.

@mimizhusband as I said we the people make this country great. By working hard and dying to save the freedoms. They have never relented and don’t intend to start now.


It is both flawed and exceptional. Flawed because nations consist of human inhabitants and human nature is flawed. It’s faulty. We are not Gods. It’s exceptional because our founders proclaimed for the entire world to know that we acknowledge our individual Rights come from God, not government, and proclaimed as well that they are “unalienable.” Every other nation on earth, including the UN claim to grant their citizens rights. This, what a faulty human grants you, he can easily remove legitimately. A just government doesn’t take liberties God grants to each individual and thus our Constitution and Bill of Rights were specifically designed to limit government. That does make this nation exceptional. Not like any other.

I like this.


There can be no "harmonizing" two diametrically opposed ideas. No one with half a brain and a lick of common sense would say that America is purely good - perfect. Perfection is nothing more than an aspirational goal and an idealized thought.
America is imperfect - naturally but that is a lightyears difference from being "something evil that needs to be destroyed".
Would you destroy or kill your own son or daughter upon discovering they were "imperfect" and had done something unkind, mean, illegal, perverted perhaps? I don't think you would.
The very idea that America should be completely deconstructed/destroyed is an absurdity unto itself.
If you can get someone who wants to see America destroyed to give an alternative plan to America such as she is - flaws and all - you can be sure that what they have in mind is obviously NOT a better plan.
Nowhere in history - nowhere on Earth today is there a place "better" to live than USA. I don't see ANYONE clammoring to get into any other countries. NO ONE is crashing the borders or "sneaking in" illegally anywhere else to my knowledge.
Come up with a demonstrably "better idea" than USA and maybe we can talk.

iThink Level 8 July 3, 2020

Just as info, there are a lot of Somalis and others sneaking into Canada from the USA, and it appears we are letting them, which I completely disagree with. See from 2018 []
To be sure, it is not getting any better. They are coming in for the benefits and because our authorities are too far left to want to do anything about it. I'm all for immigrants so long as they come in legally and commit to assimilate.

@skaarda Legal immigration turned Virginia blue. Also see this Pew Research article about party affiliation across demographics. A moratorium on all immigration ASAP is a good idea because at the current rate, the right will no longer be able to win any more elections soon. Lastly, immigration (legal or otherwise) stagnates wages.

@gadsden Lots of interesting stats there. Meanwhile, north american culture as we knew it seems to have entered a state of entropy. Re. immigration, other than using the pandemic as a rationale or perhaps the fear of terrorism, it is unlikely it could or should be halted. What amazes me though, as a Canadian, is that we do not even really screen the new Legal applicants. We should be going through a comprehensive process to explain to newcomers what our culture is, what our rules are (ie. no honour killings, no FGM) and ensure they have the means to support themselves and commit to assimilate. As for the illegals, they are criminals, period - out with them.

@skaarda agreed


Have them ask the question: where would the world be if America had never been? What other ideology our country is there that would've brought about the many changes for the better if there was no America? Isn't it true that most of the Constitutions of the world have tried, to a greater or lesser extent, copy the U.S. Constitution?

Chicago Level 7 July 3, 2020

Absolutely! America is “flawed” when compared to utopias that exist only in the minds of woke-progressives. America is exceptional when compared to any country in the real world.


What made America great was not our vast resources, our beauty, nor even our wide base of cultural backgrounds. Our Constitution as it was originally written is what made America unique and the greatest nation in history.

Since 1942, the protection of our rights under the Constitution have eroded by a massive unaccountable Federal Bureaucracy unconstitutionally created by the Democrats. So the concept of the original Constitution is no longer working. A very old idea is now a new idea, and the best ever invented: Restore the original Constitution.

The part of the Declaration of Independence not posted above, is what was written just before that part of the post:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ---

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

Except this is NOT being taught to any significant degree.
Sometimes the words are SAID but No Thought is REQUIRED ...

@Bay0Wulf. Thank God for Hillsdale College, which has many free online courses about this stuff. Spread the word.

I live about 30 miles from Hillsdale. What a great school it is.


Encourage them to stop and observe something for a moment... if you have the freedom to bash this country and the President without the worry of being imprisoned, then this country isn't so bad afterall. Try going over to China and openly bash their leaders and see what happens to you.

Let’s not forget what Obama did to the tea party via the IRS. Although I would like to consider his rein null and void.

@FEWI There are exceptions, but generally speaking citizens aren't getting sent to jail over bashing politicians. Some other countries are far less lenient than ours.

@SpikeTalon Absolutely! Nothing comes close to the the firing squad.


I'm late to the game here, and I'm glad because reading some great comments here gives me hope and a reason to smile on this, my favorite holiday of the year. I love this country. Yes, we're going through a difficult phase, but our constitution is not outdated... it's still a masterpiece, and I pray goodness and truth will prevail in the end. I wish you all a blessed day.


I am not American, but I have always admired and envied the achievements of the USA. To me the liberty you have is what makes it so great. I know that no country is perfect, but the USA needs improvement, not tearing down and building a non-liberty state.


I took my grandson to Kolkata India last year and showed him whats its like in a vastly different and extremely poor society. Now I love india myself, its very interesting there and I can tolerate environments that some would be uncomfortable or even threatened in. I'm not saying America's great cause some other country is awful, no. There's good and bad everywhere. But Americans who look down on there own country don't realize how good they've got it.. After two weeks we returned and my grandson kissed the carpet when walked off the plane inside the U.S.


Our Constitution and Bill of rights. Our system is flawed, all systems are, but ours is set up to be dynamic and self correcting, while at the same time preventing sweeping sudden change based on political whims. As much as those who try to disparage our country like to point to our past mistakes we have not always lives up to our founding principles, those principles and hard work of our citizens has brought us to where we are now. The United states is inarguably safer, more comfortable, more equitable nation than just a few decades ago and we have every reason to believe that if we can stop tearing ourselves apart and remember that we the people are all in this together commit ourselves to compromise, and conduct ourselves with civility that our upward trend will contiue.

Erh13 Level 2 July 3, 2020

I can point to women walking alone on the streets and say, "they can walk without a husband or an escort. They can wear what they want."

I can point to PEACEFUL protesters and say "as long as they hurt no one, block any passages, nor damage property, they are free to protest the government."

I can point to an Amish person, a Muslim person, an Atheist, or an [insert religion here] person, and acknowledge that we have the freedom to celebrate and honor our religions.

I can point to the fact that people can change their economic standing with hard work, good luck, and big dreams, and enjoy the fact that America does not have a caste system (like in, say, India).

I can point to the smiling (sometimes not smiling) faces of children and say, even if they have temper tantrums about not getting a new toy, they have the ability to go to school and not be child labor forces.

God bless America.

Imastel Level 5 July 4, 2020

Most people forget One thing Usually when you don’t have Covid junk you can go where you want if your an adult and most kids can play where and when they like there are exceptions to the rule where no one listens and crime is higher. But only because the parents are problematic on drugs or drunk and the kids could care less what they do. Other wise take away all the sins and crimes drugs and alcohol and put your dog on a leash and it would be a cool place to live . Or should I say it is a cool place to live if you look for the right things .


Happy Independence Day to all my fellow AmeriCAN’s.
We still live in the BEST country on EARTH !
Let’s make it even better by being positive

David42 Level 7 July 4, 2020

Have that person become a foreign exchange 'student of life' for a year, in a Country that is socioeconomically different than the U.S.A. Some place where the things they take for granted are not readily available, like fresh water out of the tap, waste disposal, internet, freedom of religion, or freedom of expression. Require that they find and hold employment in this Country while they are there, and live independently off of the daily wages that they are paid. And, as a lesson, have them complain to the government of their new Country about all the things they find so 'unfair, here in America.

So because things are worse somewhere else, we have no right to try to improve things?

@WilyRickWiles did you read the 'topic question'?

@DeplorableToo The premise, which you've reinforced, is that we have no such right.

@WilyRickWiles, READ THE TOPIC QUESTION, 'How would you make your best case that America is Great to someone who doesn't believe it?"

@DeplorableToo Read the words above it!


Pragmatism for me defines American greatness.


You can quibble about the details but it is uniquely American.

wolfhnd Level 7 July 3, 2020

This is a great example of the exceptionalism of America. I defy you to name one other nation who has been so magnanimous in the face of absolute victory.


Zyxomma Level 2 July 5, 2020

The people that came/come here (legally)!!!
If you think things need to be fixed in this country, get back to the idea that "if you work, you eat, if you don't, you don't"

Serg97 Level 8 July 4, 2020

Since the "woke" left believes the US should ditch the national anthem and replace it with John Lennon's "Imagine", I'm going to suggest they get on with the imagining bit. Imagine, the western continent had never been infiltrated by parts of Europe and later parts of Asia.
Would there have been wars? Yes. The native inhabitants were like all other places on the planet. They had various societies and beliefs. Some were warlike, some more peaceful. Some captured slaves, some did not. Either way, would there have been an industrial revolution? Would we now, today have such luxuries as running water into our homes, electricity, transportation by land, sea, and air that takes us to other places?
As one of my old friends once told a woman who was "fighting" for his indigenous rights, "Lady, if you think I want to live in a tepee and wear a loin cloth, and hunt my groceries with a bow and arrow, you're out of your F@#%ing mind. I like this white-man sh@#"


I “edited” this as it had gotten too unweildy


Outlaw political parties. All elected representatives must be independent, and serve the people they represent.

...And the 24 news cycles that serve those parties.


No side will ever convince the other. We have become so ideologically opposed that the only case I make nowadays is that we should part ways. Doing so would make everyone across the political spectrum much happier.

gadsden Level 4 July 3, 2020

Moving to state-centric or region-centric independence is a possibility but seems like it would require strong boarders similar to nation states. I'll try to formulate a "question of the day" around this idea in the next few weeks. Controversial. Have countries done this before? Germany/East Germany perhaps?

Ummm ... Yeah.
The Original Confederacy of States didn’t hold together so had to be rewritten and strengthened resulting in these United States.
What is being suggested here is more like the EU ... Which isn’t working out.
This video makes it seem all so easy but ...
The biggest, almost insurmountable problem we have, is Human Nature further complicated by Our Willingness to continue to pursue a “Melting Pot” thought process. Conflicts will continually arise regardless of whether we stay a United Whole or break into being Confederated Pieces as different people ... different cultures ... bump into each other and struggle to maintain their past which they are trying to leave behind.
The concept of a Confederacy seems, on the surface, at first glance to be an excellent idea but if you really look at it it has bigger and more intense problems ... results in bigger conflicts and divisions than a United Nation does.

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