Other Campus: Be proud of America

By Oklahoma Daily

(U-WIRE) NORMAN, Okla. – On the Fourth of July, it is important to take a careful look at where our country has been and where it is going.

While America does have its problems, we’re still doing a lot of things right.

At first glance, there are a lot of things that just aren’t going right in America.

First of all, we’re in the midst of a bloody war. The bloodiest since Vietnam. As of Tuesday, 1,734 soldiers have died in Iraq.

Both Republicans and Democrats are beginning to demand a timetable for an exit from Iraq, as 58 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Bush has handled the war, according to a USA Today poll.

America is not exactly the most well-liked country in the world, either.

On the domestic side, there is strife as well. Congress continues to fight across parties over Bush nominations for judges. In fact, the two parties are already beginning to fight over the expected Supreme Court nominations.

And our own president has been touring the country declaring that Social Security is going to run out unless we fix it.

But despite all of this, despite the partisan government, despite the war in Iraq, despite the Social Security crisis, America is doing a lot of things right.

First, America is still thriving economically. Compared to many other countries, we have a lot to be thankful for.

The unemployment rate remains low, the economy appears stable and American goods retain a worldwide market. And our fuel costs are low compared to the gasoline prices of other countries.

Second, we have good citizens. Americans remain a hard-working, spirited people. And we support our soldiers despite the lack of support for the war.

We’re still a free country, too. We have the right to free speech. We have the right to practice our own religion. We have a free press that keeps our politicians honest.

We have great access to higher education. Through student loans, scholarships, and other student aid plans, Americans have the opportunity to pursue a degree if they desire.

We have excellent access to technology, too. All it takes is a trip to the local electronic store to get a new laptop computer or cellular phone. That type of access is not found in every country.

We’re a very giving country. We donate a great deal of money to other countries, specifically Africa.

Also, despite the unpopularity of the war, Americans still are proud to wave the Stars and Stripes.

America always seems to have something wrong with it. But it is our duty, and perhaps our responsibility as Americans, to focus instead on what is right.

So next Monday, as the fireworks are going off or the music is playing at Reaves Park for Norman Day, take just a moment and reflect on what a great time it is to be an American. It’s not as bad as one might think.

Staff Editorial

Oklahoma Daily (U. Oklahoma)