Let's Try To Have A HAPPY Birthday (In Spite Of It All)

As we near the 250th anniversary of these United States, there is every reason to be discouraged. We are ravaged by a pandemic that could have been controlled except for those who say it is God’s will they not wear a mask, somehow un-American to protect yourself and others, or think that having a drink in a bar is more important than stopping the spread of the virus.

Never in my memory have the red and blue populations of this nation been more at odds over everything -- from just what constitutes competent, honorable leadership in the White House and increasingly on Capitol Hill, to just how many people of color need to die before we reel in the police, from why it's okay for civilians to own automatic rifles (are deer THAT dangerous?), to empowering women to control their own reproductive lives.  Moreover, neither side is open to listening to the other side’s POV. We appear to the rest of the world as self-centered little children.

The economy sucks and will for a very long time to come.  



We can’t agree on what is legitimate news. Anything that we don’t like is called “fake,” even if it is objectively, observably true.

And thanks to social media, it's increasingly hard to discern what is legitimate and what is propaganda from foreign nations -- or just the guys across the street who you think are whack jobs because they do not share your worldview. 

We are walking around (six feet apart) afraid of one another -- especially if the other has different colored skin or does things to protest racism that piss you off, like kneeling during the national anthem or toppling your favorite statue of the Confederacy. 

The upcoming holiday is a great time to try and put all your concerns aside for just a day and celebrate that you are a citizen of the greatest nation in world history (even if we have made our share of mistakes).

We are in no way a perfect nation, but we have achieved greatness in industry, medicine, education, science, justice… You name it, we have often led the world in it. No other nation provides more financial support, disaster aid and protection to other nations than the U.S. 

With some spectacular miscalculations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, no other nation on earth has the power to assure that dictators like Putin and Assad keep their geopolitical misadventures in their own back yards. Some of us lost parents or spouses to make this happen. 

The standard of living in this country is well above that of nearly every other nation (although some of those small homogeneous countries surrounding the Baltic and North Seas look pretty content, if you don’t mind tax rates more than double ours).

Although it is clearly broken in terms of cost structure, we are the final destination of anyone with a medical problem that can’t be solved elsewhere in the world. They also invest in our equities markets (and homes) because we are the most financially stable country year in and year out. 

We are far from perfect. But ask the rest of the world where they’d like to be, if not in their own countries. The answer is, inevitably, here. 

Do not think for a minute that the American dream is dead. It's there for the taking if you are willing to apply yourself and make the effort.

For a day, just sit back, relax and say to yourself, “This really is a hell of a great country.” Because it is.

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