Four Things that Make America Great: by Christopher Snyder
Having the chance recently to travel some of the world after being laid-off in early 2005 and decided to go to Iraq as a consultant. From Iraq I was able to travel to other middle eastern countries as well as many countries in southeast Asia. While traveling, I try to take the opportunity now and then to observe and try to understand the cultures that surround me in the places I visit. By doing this I have gained a different perspective of my own country and have come to a conclusion. There are four things that make the United States of America a great country.
The first two are an integral part of the first amendment of our constitution. The first is our right of free speech protected by the first amendment. I believe to most people in the United States Freedom of Speech means little more than they can say whatever they want without worry of being thrown in jail, as long as it is somewhat truthful and doesn't insight a riot. However, this amendment has given us a press corps that is free to provide us with a detailed and accurate presentation of news events (in most cases). This is not the case in many countries throughout the world where governments take the liberty to edit the news to there own ends.
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The second thing is the Separation of Church and State also protected by our first amendment. This was originally important to our founding fathers because of their religious prosecutions by the church of England and motivated many of the first settlers to move to a vast unknown "new world" to practice the religion they wanted. Separation of Church and State means that the government does not have the right to have any input whatsoever in the actions of any real religion. I believe this Amendment has kept emotional issues where they belong, out of politics in our country (for the most part) ... Many countries have "national" religions written into their constitutions and do not know what really to do with those who are not a part of it and those who are not apart of the nations religion feel left out and out of touch. In many cases this leads to violence of various sorts and sizes that we often hear about on the news.
The third great thing is our Copyright/Patent Laws which have provided people in the United states with the ability to realize "the American dream", allowing inventive or creative people to realize their potential by allowing them to make profits off of their creativity. In many countries copyrights and patent laws are either non-existent or not taken seriously, giving people NO incentive to put their creativity to work for them selves because it is not likely they will be the one profiting.
The fourth thing comes not so much from our laws or constitution but from how our country was born, from a diverse collection of countries throughout the world, our ethnic diversity. As one travels throughout the world in places like southeast Asia and the middle east you do not see a very diverse group of people. In fact, segregation is a natural state in the world, well, was more of a natural state back when world traveling was much more difficult and limited to a few brave souls. We have only traveled the world in mass for the last 100 years, at most. Therefore, most of the world is not ethnically diverse and the US is, very. What has this done for us? It has brought together a diverse group of people with different thoughts, ideas and abilities and allowed them, through our copyright/patents laws, to develop the technologies in science and medicine that we have access to today. The copy right and patent laws have greatly increased our standard of living in the US as well as the standard of living of people throughout the world.
These four things, while they have made our country great they also test us every day with people practicing their free speech and causing friction in their communities. With politicians trying to push religion into government rolls (and visa versa). The copyright and patent laws have greatly increased our cost of things we buy everyday. And our ethnic diversity is often under fire because of our inbreed proclivity to segregation which often leads to acts of violence due to extreme racism. But we need to continue to struggle to keep these four things strong in our country because they have done so much good for us. In the upcoming elections, look at the candidates views on these four things and vote accordingly. These issues are not generally discussed by the candidates, being overshadowed by more pressing issues such as global warming and the war in Iraq, and will therefore not be easy to determine. However, focusing on these issues will give you an insight if the candidate has an understanding of how the US has gotten to the high status it has in the world and may continue to keep these things strong in our country.
Copyright 2008 Asia Products LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Christopher Snyder is the Founder and Managing Director of Asia Products LLC and currently is living in Bangkok, Thailand.
He writes on a variety of topics including current events, politics, and travel ideas. He manages an e-commerce store buying products to sell on http://www.asiaproductsllc.com. He is documenting some of his more interesting travels in his Asia Travel Ideas website : http://www.apllc-connect.com.