The 4th of July is a day when Americans like myself celebrate the country. When we as Americans take pride in our country. July 4th should also serve as a day to reflect on how American can be greater than it is right now.
Progress has been made
Since the country began, there has been progress. Slavery (in the form of owning people as property) has been abolished. We continue to progress on eliminating government encouraged segregation. Women can vote. The voting rights act, now sadly under attack by some in the federal government, was passed. Gay marriage is legal. Recreational and medical marijuana legalization is slowly being passed in various states.
We have made progress towards a more just and free country.
America has a long way to go before reaching its ideals.
Making our nation greater
America has the money, the time and the willpower to make our country greater. To me, the key to accomplishing this is through focusing on what matters both at the macro and micro level.
Facts and Reason
We need reform in the education system and in the media. Facts and reason need to be brought more into focus. There should be less legitimization of nonsense. Information in the form of facts and reason combats nonsense.
In the media, there needs to be more acknowledging of perspective. There is nothing wrong with perspective. Everyone has one. The media needs to make sure that the public knows about these perspectives held by the media.
Empathy and less reliance on force
This country needs more empathy. We all need to look out for each other more. Especially since the election last year, everyone has become more and more divided. We as Americans need to realize that we are all humans that are in the same country.
Of course, defense is important
America can, in terms of police practices and foreign policy, rely too much on force as the answer to every problem.
It is awful that in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, some people have to choose between going to the doctor and buying enough food. Having some basic assurance of health care coverage at low costs could allow more Americans to further improve other parts of their lives without the worry that a doctor’s visit would send them further into debt.
Climate change is a threat to the whole world. America needs to accept that climate change is real and rejoin the rest of the world to create policy to fight it.
America can improve with a reflection on the mistakes we are making.