With the Fourth of July approaching this weekend, I would be shirking my sacred duty as a conservative if I didn’t take the time to make my own personal Pledge of Allegiance to the United States. In spite of all the conflicts, scandals, controversies and debates that have haunted our nightly news programs and literally kept CNN in business for the past several decades, I feel the need to look past all that and take a moment admire the inspired efforts of our predecessors that we so lovingly have dubbed the Founding Fathers.
If you take a moment before you go off to your family shindigs and your neighborhood cook-offs, just think of the blessings that have been afforded to us as a nation. We live in a nation where we can live and die in relative peace. We are able to express ourselves and worship how we choose. We are able to hoist such words as Liberty and Freedom as our credo for the rest of the world to admire. Millions and millions of people from millions and millions of different walks of life have found the ability to co-exist in relative peace within our borders. Thousands of people flock to our nation because they believe that we hold the power to offer them something that perhaps they can’t achieve anywhere else: life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness.
There is discord, that is true. James Madison extolled this virtue in our republic. By creating a nation of competing interests, the voice of the people would contend among factions and achieve a higher good. There have been and will be years when liberal Americans will think that our nation is becoming a fascist dictatorship, while other years conservatives will be prophesying socialist takeover. Even then we can see the blessing that there is the opportunity to change, to express our beliefs and convictions in an almost civil process. Even now in Iran, controversy still rages concerning the violent suppression of protesters over the allegedly rigged election results. Here in America, we may have suffered from “hanging chad” syndrome and perhaps we may not have agreed with the results of our annual elections, but we have experienced over 200 years of nearly flawless transitions of leadership. Yes, there have been hiccups along the way but, all things considered, our track record in its entirety is worthy of applause.
Whether you are religious or not, I would do a great discredit and dishonor to myself and my creator if I were not to acknowledge his hand in the creation and preservation of this country. On July 28, 1787, in the constitutional convention, Benjamin Franklin rose up in request for a daily invocation to be given at the beginning of their proceedings, saying, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?” I pose that question to you as well. I know the issue of church and state has and will remain a political taboo for many to mention, but I must stand by my conviction that our nation has risen from the humble log cabins of Jamestown to become an independent and powerful nation with the help of Divinity.
Now, before you start having delusions of American flags waving behind me with “America the Beautiful” playing gently in the background, hear me out. This may be an excerpt of something that Jefferson Smith would have said during a filibuster speech, but I know that our nation is something great. Whether you believe that we have come this far by divine providence or by shear inspiration by the Founders, the truth remains that we live in a country that provides unprecedented opportunities for prosperity and happiness. Our nation may not be perfect and our leaders may be flawed, but remember, before you grill that T-bone or set fire to your front lawn with cheap fireworks, remember that we are free. We possess the freedom to be what we choose, to manage our lives and create success out of hard work and hope. It’s something that was bought for by the sacrifices of not only our many fighting soldiers here and abroad, but by the sacrifice of our parents and grandparents to maintain liberties and rights that allow us to make our own choices and govern ourselves. Despite the clichéd nature of the term, I hope that it will forever be so: God bless America.
Jess Jones is a conservative political columnist for Rhombus. He apparently likes America very much.