Friday, February 26, 2016

The Idea of America

"Let's make America great 'again'!" Hmm...

Clearly, America's greatness---what makes, or would make, America great---is the definition of subjective. To some it would mean erecting barriers, or walls, that have never existed in America's history. I, therefore, do not understand how those who would promote such things can claim that such things could make America great "again". To some it would mean limiting American individuals' and businesses' freedom to trade with individuals and businesses in other countries. I do not understand how limiting freedom can ever be confused with American greatness. But, alas, it so often is.

Consider the word "great", or "greatness": Does the notion of its achievement conjure up thoughts, or sensations, of pulling in, of protecting, of controlling, of contracting? Or does it provoke a sense of breadth, of clarity, of brightness, of liberation? What indeed makes a great nation?

I so cherish the memories of the long talks, during the summers of my youth, with my father's father, Manuel Lopez Mazorra: An immigrant by accident who built a life and a family on great American soil. My grandfather loved this country more than anyone I have ever known. His lectures on freedom---the kind that existed nowhere in the world but America---as we walked the streets of a small Northern California town, instilled in me the clearest understanding of the values that truly make this magnificent country of ours, well, magnificent! At least to me...

(Oh, and by the way, while the above may appear as if I have one candidate in mind [I am indeed borrowing from the rhetoric of one in particular], I don't. Protectionism has been a central theme---on both sides of the aisle---in every presidential election I can recall. This one's no different.)

It seems to me that foreigners are the best articulators of the idea of America. And that makes sense, given their vantage point.

Bono does it beautifully!

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