Jeremy Steiner: Look again; you might see reason to celebrate

Despite our worries, Americans have a lot to celebrate as the nation marks its 246th birthday.

By Jeremy Steiner / Herald Forum

Most birthdays are full of fun with happiness and positivity in the air. This weekend, America celebrates its 246th birthday, and times are tough, the cost of everything is high and many are still concerned with a new increase of covid cases.

For 50 years, polls show that we’ve been on the wrong track. And now — with increasing inflation, enormous economic concerns, school shootings and high crime — a new Associated Press poll shows 85 percent of all adults admit the country is on the wrong track.

For all the negative news our nation faces with the current Supreme Court controversies, political debates and social strife, we could all use a dose of positivity and optimism.

As we all celebrate the Fourth of July, here are four important issues displaying universal unity that most Americans agree upon:.

First, our democracy is not dead. The 2020 presidential election saw the largest total voter turnout in U.S. history. Over 22 million more voters than in 2016. Millions more voted for the Republican and Democratic candidates, over 74 million and 81 million respectively.

Despite the dumb and devastating disruption on Jan. 6, 2021, trying to overturn the election, the results were right. The current Jan. 6 committee hearings highlight the awful attempt to overturn an almost flawless election. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently said: “I think that reports of the death of democracy in the United States are grossly, grossly, exaggerated … and added, “America is a shining city on a hill, and it will continue to be so.”

Secondly, when covid crushed our country, Americans followed the imposed regulations. When the vaccine was available, a majority came together for the health and well-being of our nation. Now, nearly 80 percent have received one shot and we are safer as rates of deaths are down. Even as cases increase, the number of weekly deaths have declined to due to the silent majority acting morally, while the visible and vocal minority continue to protest against free vaccines proven to be safe and effective.

Third, in the middle of a devastating war seen on a daily basis, most Americans continue to support our ally Ukraine. Americans also overwhelmingly oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian invasion. They’ve long been an adversary and a bully against allies in Europe. A majority of Americans support our nation’s efforts, and also agree that our longest worldwide threat is against Russia. A Pew poll shows 70 percent of Americans now see Russia as an enemy.

Lastly and most significantly is that for years polls prove America always ranks as the top nation most people want to immigrate to. No one values our ideas and ideals mote than non-Americans. One is U2’s lead singer Bono. He famously said, “America is an idea. That’s how we see you around the world, as one of the greatest ideas in human history. The idea is that you and me are created equal. … The idea that life is not meant to be endured but enjoyed. The idea that if we have dignity, if we have justice then leave it to us, and we’ll do the rest. This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and put that on paper.”

During the birth of our nation, a lady asked Ben Franklin whether we have a republic or a monarchy. He simply replied “A republic, if you can keep it.”

On our national holiday, take time to recall these ideas that unite us: an enduring and active democracy, national support for our welfare and security and the envy and esteem other nations view America.

Thankfully, Americans are well aware of being born into a piece of paradise that’s worth preserving and acknowledge as Lincoln did, we are the last best hope of earth.

With all our divisions and differences, with all our debates and disagreements, with all our faults and failures; perhaps for one day on the Fourth we can replace political yard signs with the flag and T-shirts stating social commentary with the simple colors of red, white and blue.

Jeremy Steiner is executive producer for the nationally syndicated Michael Medved radio show and lives in Edmonds.

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