Why America Succeeds
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These are indeed strange times. We now question not only
America's future, but its very existence. This is not the first time we have
questioned our ability to carry on. The 1860's, 1930's and 1960's were strange
times in our country's history, but somehow we held on and succeeded in spite of
overwhelming odds against us.
I have had the pleasure and privilege of being able to see quite a bit of the
world, and there are many countries with admirable strengths, but there are
weaknesses in them as well. Although other countries are quick to criticize our
actions and policies, make no mistake, America is the country everyone wants to
work with, and the place where everyone wants to come to. In spite of all of
our problems, America continues to somehow persevere. One cannot help but ask,
As the world's melting pot, we are a culturally diversified society with a
heterogeneous set of opinions and perspectives. Our customs, beliefs, and
values are derived not just from the "old world" but from geographical
idiosyncrasies as well; e.g., New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, the South,
the Midwest, the Southwest, and the Northwest, each with their own indelible
peculiarities which influences the behavior and opinion of the citizens.
Getting the people of the United States to conform to a standard set of values,
rules, and laws is not only incredibly difficult, it is nothing less than a
miracle that we have lasted this long.
So why does America succeed? Two reasons:
First, Freedom - We were very fortunate to have a set of founding fathers with
the foresight to develop an innovative Constitution and Bill of Rights which
defines the checks and balances of government and establishes the unalienable
rights we all enjoy as citizens. It is simply brilliant. Freedom allows us to
express our creativity and imagination, encourages an entrepreneurial spirit,
and promotes a free-enterprise system that stimulates the growth of the middle
class representing the economic engine of our country (and the world). Without
this engine, America would be no different than any other third world country.
We have been fortunate to have had many people defend these rights over the
years, both in and out of uniform, but perhaps no more than Abraham Lincoln who
seemed to grasp the significance of what our forefathers were trying to do and,
thankfully, preserved it for succeeding generations. I very much doubt we have
anyone in our government today with the wisdom and vision needed to devise as
sophisticated a document as the framers of the Constitution did over 200 years
Second, the People - who thrive under an environment of freedom. America is not
just one people, it is several types of people operating under one umbrella.
Both our strength and weakness lies in our cultural diversity. It brings many
different perspectives, insights, and new ideas to the table, thus encouraging
opportunity, competitiveness and invention on a global scale. It is because of
this cultural mix that we only come together as a result of disaster; the rest
of the time is spent arguing, finger pointing, and political wrangling. This is
why Americans are typically better reactors as opposed to planners. If America
has an Achilles' Heel, it is that we tend to wait for disaster before we act;
e.g., The Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, and 911.
America succeeds not because of our government, but in spite of it. Without the
blueprint of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, our government would be
more invasive in our lives than it already is.
So, why do we succeed? Actually, I think it's more than just dumb luck, but
rather because the time was right to create a country like the United States,
the need was real, and we were fortunate to have good and learned people who put
it all together. As long as we believe in our Constitution and Bill of Rights,
and do not deviate from them, and believe in ourselves, "We the people..."
of America will succeed.
Copyright © 2009 Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor, Florida.
He can be contacted at:
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