“America is, and always will be, a shining City on a Hill.” – Ronald Reagan
On August 24, 1996, my life changed forever. I came to America. If ever a love at first sight resisted disenchantment after a quarter of a century, this is my romance with the United States – an equilibrium of passion and conviction.
My biography is indelibly branded by the striking contrast of two worlds. I spent my childhood and early youth under communism, and the second half of my life to date in America.
I have never ceased to marvel at the welcoming cornucopia of choices that manifested before me since Day One, at the exhilarating atmosphere of liberty and meritocracy, at the kindness and decency of so many Americans I have since met and befriended.
I love America because it was born from an odds-defying act of courage and a profoundly humane philosophy that sanctifies the individual’s natural rights.
I love America because it is a smaller, improved version of the entire world, having attracted its “tired,” “poor,” and “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” (Emma Lazarus)
I love America because of the boundless breadth to which its laws protect freedom of speech and expression.
I love America because of the horizonless heights to which industrious and talented individuals can ascend, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, or humble origins.
I love America because of all the second chances it grants its people to commence a better life or change an unfulfilling career.
I love America because it represents not merely the democratic principle of a majority rule, but more importantly, the will of the minority and the individual.
I love America because its military might and political ideals safeguard the rest of the free world.
I love America because it has given humanity myriad life-improving innovations in medicine, science, technology, industry, transportation, and everyday life.
I love America because it personifies the indomitable determination of the human spirit.
Last but not least, I love America because it heroically admits and corrects its errors while upholding its founding principles.
The wise words of two remarkable statesmen emphasize this winning combination of continuity and change. Frederick Douglass noted: “The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous,” and Alexis de Tocqueville observed: “America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement.”
I love America and feel acute distress when I witness today’s virulent anti-Americanism. Its venom infects campuses, mainstream and social media. It erodes even highly lucrative outfits that owe their skyrocketing success to free enterprise—global corporations, athletic organizations, and Hollywood.
This relentless attack on America is in essence totalitarian, neo-Marxist propaganda. It is disguised in the sheep’s clothing of benign-looking attitudes, such as political correctness, multiculturalism, or identity politics. Its goal is not constructive criticism but a destructive revolution that threatens to torch the magnificent edifice of American values and its historical, philosophical, and ethical fundaments. It is to create fratricidal strife between those perceived as “oppressors” and those designated as “victims” by birth.
Neo-Marxists trumpet America’s blemishes to create moral confusion and excuse totalitarian crimes. Human nature is flawed, and so are governments. Even the best systems in human history abound in errors. Yet such systems strive to self-correct while recognizing that no person or society will ever be perfect. This is a healthy and wise approach, illustrated and supported in practice by the American paragon. By contrast, enforcing utopias only leads to misery and violence.
The antidote to anti-American indoctrination is to keep proving, with facts and reason, the unique advantages of American society compared to other past or present civilizations. This will expose the double standard of anti-Americanism, which demonizes democracy’s imperfections but condones oppressive regimes’ crimes against humanity. It would significantly broaden and deepen children’s patriotic instruction in school. In college, instead of Marxist pseudo-science offered with a hefty price-tag, students would benefit from a rigorous training in American history and foundational philosophy contrasted with other political, economical, and social systems since ancient times and across the globe.
Educating people about America’s time-honored virtues as compared to the rest of the world will provide a much-needed frame of reference—a historical and geographical perspective that will give us a 20/20 vision of how good we have it. It will arm us with solid knowledge—with the unshakable realization that we cannot equate the flaws of a free country with the unfathomable atrocities of tyrannical governments. It will pierce the veil of cancel-culture groupthink and uncover its totalitarian core.
It will hopefully inspire us to renew our patriotic vows toward the “shining City on a Hill,” which I, as a grateful newcomer, have never ceased to treasure and admire.