Friday, June 25, 2021

Room for the punctilious and the peculiar alike

On the 10th anniversary of his arrival in the United States Charles C.W. Cooke explains his love for this country:
.... When I first moved here, my favorite national holiday was July 4th, with its fireworks, its renaissance vibes, and its unabashed Americana. A decade later, my favorite holiday has become Thanksgiving. Zoom out into space and look back at the Earth. Where, and when, would you live if you had an unfettered choice? In my estimation, there is only one sensible answer to that question: In America, now. There is nothing at all wrong with our bitching and moaning all day about the government or the culture or this or that; indeed, as citizens, that is our right and our responsibility. But it is a great sin to do so absent context, and the reality is that Americans who are alive in 2021 have won the grand prize in the cosmic lottery. Every Thanksgiving, I think about this: Of all the people in all the world in all of human history, I got to live in America. To be ungrateful for this would be absurd.

And yes, I mean in America. Not “red” America or “blue” America or whatever other color America. Not the North or the South or the Pacific Northwest. America. Like everyone else, I have my personal political preferences, and yet I am convinced that an America without all 50 of the states would be a sadly diminished place. What a privilege it is to be able to move freely between New York, Miami, and New Orleans; between the Rocky Mountains, the lakes of Minnesota, and the Carolinian coasts; between Missouri barbecue, Texas steak, and Californian wine. This is a country that offers skiing and surfing, museums and rollercoasters, the Masters and the Daytona 500. It is a sprawling, diverse, rambunctious, wild sort of place, with room for the punctilious and the peculiar alike. Taken together, this country we call home is the greatest framework for freedom and flourishing that the world has ever known. .... (more)
"Ten Years in America," National Review, June 25, 2021.

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