Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Taking America For Granted

by Thomas Sowell - July 4th, 2007 -

When my research assistant and her husband took my wife and me to dinner at a Chinese restaurant, I was impressed when I heard her for the first time speak Chinese as she ordered food. My assistant was born and raised in China, so I should have been impressed that she spoke English. But I took that for granted because she always spoke English to me.

We all have a tendency to take for granted what we are used to, and to regard it as somehow natural or automatic -- and to be unduly impressed by what is unusual. Too many Americans take the United States for granted and are too easily impressed by what people in other countries say and do.

That is especially true of the intelligentsia, and dangerously true of those Supreme Court justices who cite foreign laws when making decisions about American law.

There is nothing automatic about the way of life achieved in this country. It is very unusual among the nations of the world today and rarer than four-leaf clovers in the long view of history.

Sowell gives a short simple explanation of something of importance. Why so many among us don't value what we have. HIs recognition of how rare is the freedom we enjoy is also to be respected. It is rare and those who fail to recognize that display their own lack of understanding of why our nation should be admired.

I am not surprised this is written by Thomas Sowell. I have long viewed him as one of the most intelligent philosophers and writers in our nation. In fact he may be our smartest American. This clear simple introduction to his July 4th article explains why. It is a good article and I recommend it.

Happy Birthday America.


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