Today, our great republic turns 232 years old.
To many in Europe and other parts of the world, this is not a very long time at all: the Chinese Zhou dynasty was in power for 829 years, and was one of many dynasties in power in China since the bronze age. European countries have histories stretching into early history, with stable forms of government existing for hundreds of years.
Even so, republics and other forms of representational government are quite rare. While I’m not a historical scholar (focusing instead on science, specifically physics and astrophysics), I have read a fair bit about history, and I’m not aware of any nation in all history where the citizenry lived in such freedom, with a government so accountable to the people.
Now, that’s not to say that our republic is perfect — far from it. This nation has made its share of mistakes, some from the very beginning: the terrible institution of slavery being the most serious in my opinion. More recent intrusions on liberty are more subtle, I think, and pose serious long-term issues to this country.
This country has been through times both wonderful and trying. From great wars and economic depression to the height of scientific achievement and putting men on the moon, this country and her people have so far gotten through more or less unscathed. There’s been a few times — including recently — where liberty has taken a bit of a hit, but she keeps getting back up again.
I’ve travelled to dozens of states and even more countries, and every trip I take gives me a new perspective back at the USA and how good we have it. Even the darkest days of our nation’s history are often better than ordinary days in many places in the world, both past and present.
Truly, the United States of America is an incredible country, made up of diverse and wonderful people, and spans some of the most beautiful lands on earth. The founding fathers were learned men of reason, and I am deeply in their debt for instituting such an excellent form of goverment. I am grateful to be alive at this point in history, and hope that this republic continues to prosper in the future.
And now, I think it’s time to celebrate this nation’s history by going out and exploding a small part of it.