I am a democrat and I still love my country

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After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, I and many others (not just in my party) became nauseous. We saw marches, outrage from high-profile politicians and celebrities, and even a rock star, Bille Joe Armstrong, lead singer of the band Green Day, revealed he “renounced” his US citizenship at a concert in London after the decision.

There are many who believed that this no longer made the US great and no longer free, and I disagree.

The United States of America has had its problems and still has. We have had, had and still have racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, sexism and hatred towards those in the AAPI community. There was a time when women couldn’t vote and well, we women couldn’t even have credit cards until the mid-1970s.

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But despite the rights that we see being taken from us and put into the hands of the states, despite the fact that 26 states have (and still do) plans to ban abortion with 41 individual bans and 10 states that don’t want exceptions, even in the case of rape or incest, I still believe that our nation is great, the greatest – the leader in democracy and freedom around the world.

A pro-choice protester calls after the Supreme Court’s decision to overthrow Roe v. Wade, in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022.
(AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Here are some of the things that make our nation great, even greater than other nations around the world:

  • Our size. We are the fourth largest country in the world with over 6% of its land mass.
  • diversity. We have the most diverse population of different races, religions and ethnicities.
  • First Amendment. We have a First Amendment that not only provides freedom of speech (as many other countries do), but also protects freedom of religion and freedom of the press. As for that freedom of speech, Americans are among the world’s most supportive citizens regarding free speech — even if it criticizes the government or supports an unpopular opinion — freedom of the press and the right to use the Internet without government censorship. Unlike other countries, freedom of expression in the US includes the right to engage in symbolic speech, to use certain offensive words and expressions to convey political messages, and to advertise commercial products and professional services. It also gives us the right not to speak, especially the right not to salute the flag if one wants to. Americans are also more tolerant of offensive speech than people in most other countries, despite what you may think after reading social media.
  • We are the world leader in aerospace and aviation.
  • If you want to become an entrepreneur, it is very easy to start a business in the United States, the land of opportunity, compared to other countries.
  • Our passports have much less restrictions when we travel around the world than most other countries.
  • We are an extremely well-educated nation, with nearly 46% of our population in higher education.
  • We have access to food and clean drinking water.
  • We are one of the world leaders in medical innovation and the three largest hospitals in the world – the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital – are located in the United States.
  • We have the strongest military power in the world.

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I could go on. I could also list things that we are not the first at, the best at or excel at. As Europeans say, the United States is still a teenager compared to the rest of the world.

And while we are #1 in so many things, in the United States we are in danger of losing that status if we don’t come together as a nation and stop trying to undo what our Founding Fathers really wanted for us as a nation. For example, we must respect the “wall of separation between church and state,” as Thomas Jefferson described the adoption of the settlement clause, and resist becoming an extremist or fascist nation.

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Our democracy is in real jeopardy with recent Supreme Court rulings and possible future decisions, such as SCOTUS overhauling the power of state legislators in federal elections and potentially giving them the right to ignore federal election results and determine the winners themselves. That would be very dangerous in a country where some still believe the “stolen elections” are lying. Democracy, the will of the people, will really be destroyed in those states if the Supreme Court decides accordingly.

Despite our shortcomings, on July 4th, I am still proud to be an American. Proud of the opportunities I have as a woman and an American that people in so many countries don’t have. And I am hopeful for the future, safe in the knowledge that good will triumph over evil, love will triumph over hate, and the nation that has fought like hell to right wrongs will continue to do so.

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