God bless America

It's the home of the brave and the land of the free, alright -- but that doesn't mean it's the home of free stuff! You can have anything you want and be whoever you want to be in the USA, but first you have to figure out what you want and then you have to work your ass off to get it. You won't ever get it by crying "it ain't fair," because it isn't.

Now I don't expect to change anybody's mind and at 80 my mind is pretty much made up. I've seen and done a lot of stuff. I've been to a lot of places and met a lot of people and I've come to the conclusion that America is the most virtuous nation on the planet.

America provides an amazingly good life for the ordinary guy. Rich people live well everywhere, but what distinguishes America is that it provides a remarkably high standard of living for the "common man."

Historically, most cultures have despised the merchant and the laborer, regarding the former as vile and corrupt and the latter as degraded and vulgar. This attitude persists today in the Third World and it is even commonplace in Europe.

The American Founders altered the moral hierarchy of the ancient world. They argued that trade based on consent and mutual gain was preferable to plunder. The Founders established a regime in which the self-interest of entrepreneurs and workers would be directed toward serving the wants and needs of others. In this view, the ordinary life, devoted to production, serving the customer, and supporting a family, is a noble and dignified endeavor. Hard work, once considered a curse, now becomes socially acceptable, even honorable. Commerce, formerly a degraded thing, becomes a virtue.

America offers more opportunity and social mobility than any other country in the world. In much of the world, even today, if your father is a bricklayer, you become a bricklayer. In Europe, when you meet a rich person, chances are that person comes from a wealthy family. Much more typical is the condescending attitude of the European "old rich" toward the self-made person, who is viewed as a bit of a vulgar interloper. In Europe, as in the rest of the world, the preferred path to wealth is through inheritance.

Critics of America allege that the history of the United States is defined by a series of crimes -- the slavery of Africans and the genocide of native American. The Left contends America remains a racist society. The critics demand apologies for historical offenses and seek financial reparations (it's always about the Benjamins).

The truth is that we Americans inherited slavery from our European parents and the North and South American indigeneous tribes. Americans paid in blood for the crimes of their fathers and then did something to atone for those sins. America has gone further than any society in the world in establishing the equality of all rights equally for all of its citizens. That there are morons of all races, ethnicities and persuasions is an unfortunate circumstance of life.

If anything causes more problems worldwide than race, it's religion. Many countries today are engaged in bloody conflict. The list of religious and ethnic wars is long. Even in countries where ethnic or religious differences do not lead to extreme violence, there is generally no framework for people to coexist, yet in America, a country with more religions within its borders than any country on the planet, people that would be killing each other in their native countries coexist -- for the most part harmoniously.

America has the kindest, gentlest foreign policy of any great power in world history. America's enemies, both the internal and external, are likely to respond to this notion with sputtering outrage, but America, the freest nation on earth, is also the most virtuous nation on earth. This point seems counterintuitive, given the amount of conspicuous vulgarity, vice, and immorality in America, but whenever there is a disaster anywhere in the world -- war or typhoon -- Americans are the first swingin' dicks to show up. We do what needs doin', fix the place up afterwards and go home.

Dinesh D'Souza, the Robert and Karen Rishwain Scholar at the Hoover Institution, concludes that America is the greatest, freest, and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world. By making sacrifices for America and by our willingness to die for her, we bind ourselves by invisible cords to those great patriots who fought at Yorktown, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima, and we prove ourselves worthy of the blessings of freedom. History will view America as a great gift to the world, a gift that Americans today must preserve and cherish.