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Guest Column: Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue

This Sunday, America celebrates 245 years as a republic.

It hasn’t been easy and, if you watch the news, it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. Our national institutions and fundamental God-given rights are under assault. We’re bickering with each other over trivial nonsense.

Sure, I think we should be teaching kids how to read, write and figure, instead of wondering which bathroom to enter. The military should be training our sailors, soldiers and airmen how to prosecute our foreign policy, instead of fostering this encounter group mentality. We should be declaring war on poverty, not the poor, not the small business and not the American family.

This is nothing new. We’ve been bickering about politics since our nation’s inception, and I dare say we’ll continue squawking at each other long after we’re gone. As Winston Churchill said in 1947: “Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in the world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other forms of government that have been tried from time to time.”

Winnie was right. In a system where all voices are allowed a forum, it can get quite noisy. Yet here we are, this great experiment called America, which has spawned respect and envy across the world.

People aren’t fleeing America in droves for other nations, but thousands and thousands seek to experience just a sliver of our bounty from other sovereignties. Why is that? We’re innovators, entertainers, liberators. We have freed millions from bondage throughout history, despite what the media tells you.

We’re a great nation. Have we had our share of flaws? You bet. No other nation has done more to correct those indiscretions than the U.S. of A. Don’t let anyone tell you that America is a despicable place with a dubious past.

Remember, we had a 96 percent chance of being something other than American. As I said a few years ago, count your lucky stars … and stripes … that you are afforded that luxury, the luxury of being American.

So on this Fourth of July, understand that patriotism never goes out of style. While you are grilling out, watching that ballgame, checking out the fireworks or just spending time with family, do as Jefferson suggested Americans do on this day: have a good time.

And don’t forget to raise a glass or tip your cap to America … still going after 245 years!

Editor’s note: Jim Steele is a correspondent for Magic Valley Publishing and the host of The Pressbox, which airs from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Thursday on WRJB 95.9 FM, Camden.

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