Yes, Virginia, America is great


Dear Mr. Stephens: I am a college student. My professors say America isn’t great. Papa says, ‘If you see it in Mr. Stephens’ column, it’s so. Please tell me the truth: Is America great? Signed, Virginia.

Dear Virginia, your little professors are wrong. They have been affected by liberal views in a liberal age. Professors and media overwhelmingly align themselves with leftist ideas. Research demonstrates these professions have high rates of bias using words intended to influence their audience rather than providing fairness, credibility or critical thought.

Unfortunately, liberal bias hurts liberal students more than conservatives. Conservative students are exposed to opposing views constantly. Liberal students may navigate college never hearing an opposing view and are offered safe spaces if they do.

Yes, Virginia — America is great. It is great, just as love, hope, and liberty are great. Imagine how dreary the world would be without America. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. And understand America is great, not because it is powerful. America is powerful because it is great.

Socialist, communist and fascist regimes are the most lethal ideologies in history. Every such regime has led to oppression and economic decline at best. These nations have caused the bloodshed of millions at worst. Yet some professors proudly wear Che Guevara shirts while shaming those wearing American flags. The American ideal of capitalism is the only system that has lifted more people from poverty than any other system devised by man.

America, not great? You just as well believe in fairies. Sure your professors can name many American sins. Past sins do not negate greatness. Mortals are imperfect and we bear the burden of many shameful scars. In a free society, freedom will be used badly. Every nation has dealt with sins like racism and bigotry. There is nothing distinctively American about these issues except that our nation has expended more treasure and blood than any nation trying to rid ourselves of these sins. We’ve fought a Civil War to end slavery and enacted policies to fight things like institutional discrimination of all kinds. Americans of every gender and creed work together where they want. Minorities have achieved every level of success, including president.

America provides foreign aid in excess of many nations combined, giving even to nations that hate us to help their people. Americans die on foreign soil to liberate others because liberty and freedom is an idea that transcends our borders. We accept nearly a million legal immigrants annually and more immigrants live here than anywhere in the world.

Imperfect men seeking a more perfect form of government wrote our Constitution. Our national anthem is far from a notion of social injustice, but a symbolic affirmation that divided as we are by color, socio-economic status, ethnicity and religion, we are united in the belief that all men are created equal and our creator has endowed unalienable rights that no mortal can endow such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

No nation is perfect. But while many nations have founding philosophies that are deeply flawed, America is not one of them.

There are nations where patriotism is a sin. There are nations where you will be killed for crossing their border, cannot criticize the government, practice your religion and there is no hope for a better life. America is not one of them. It is not one of them despite detractors who will continually criticize while enjoying the promise of hope and liberty our nation offers.

America, with a history that includes scars, sins and shortcomings, is still a shining city on a hill. It continues to pursue our founding philosophy of ensuring freedom.

America not great? Immigrants climb fences, swim rivers and brave stormy seas to arrive, fleeing nations your professors adore.

Thank God, America is great, Virginia. Pray America remains great a thousand years more, enduring its struggles, bearing its scars but continuing to carry the torch of liberty for all mankind to come.

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Phillip Stephens is chairman of the Robeson County Republican Party.

Phillip Stephens is chairman of the Robeson County Republican Party.

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