293: Being American

Being American is pretty cool, actually. Just like being Brit, or being Moroccan, or being (fill in the blank here). There are absolutely wonderful things associated with my country. There are also some pretty awful ones, and some pretty embarrassing ones, too. The same can be said of any other place on Earth. There are marvelous and wonderful things, and there are dreadful and just foolish things, about every place under this sun.

However, I am proud of my country, like others are proud of their countries. My pride in my country does not lessen or denigrate your pride in your country. We’ve come a long way – and I am sure your country is also, like mine, making strides towards progress, even if not as quickly as you’d like. Mine isn’t making progress right now as quickly as I’d like, either.

Freedom and liberty are ideals and goals for Americans. Freedom and liberty mean that you have the ability to make your own choices. It does not mean that you have the ability to have everyone else conform to the choices you have made. That is a concept poorly understood in my country in this day and age. You have the freedom to choose your own life. That does not mean others have to approve of your choices. That does not mean others have to support your choices – vocally, ideologically or monetarily. That is not how freedom works. What others cannot do is tell you you can’t make your own choices – even if some try to do that. They are wrong if they tell you that, and more wrong, legally wrong, if they take action against you for making your own choices. But they do not have to agree with you, or like the choices you have made. Tough titty – that’s freedom, and it works BOTH ways.

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