Would you die for America? Think about it. Really think about it. It’s one thing to pound your chest and loudly proclaim your love of country, but would you really die for it? I’m talking about a noose around your neck, standing on the gallows, and you have to make the choice: leave America behind or tell them to drop you like a sack of potatoes.
Assuming you would like tell them to pull the lever, maybe you should think about the reason. Why bother to die for America? You only have one life to live. Before you pretend you’d give it up for America, you better know what America is and what it isn’t.
America is about self-government and limited government. It’s as simple as that. That’s why these brave men risked (and gave) their lives 242 years ago. They were tired of a powerful centralized government. They were tired of seeing their work taxed and confiscated.
They wanted to create a new country, a country where the federal government would be small, limited and non-invasive. In fact, the founders were so concerned with federal power that they added a bill of rights to the Constitution. Some argued that the Bill of Rights was unnecessary and redundant because the Constitution already spelled out precisely what the federal government could and could not do. But the Founders were so fond of self-government and limited government that they decided it was better to err on the side of it. This is America.
America is not what you want it to be. America is not without worries. This is not free taxpayer stuff. It is not a guarantee that you will succeed in life. It’s not even the flag or the troops or the fireworks. America does not “pay taxes”. It’s not “never having to worry about your medical bills”. In short, America is not customizable to your fleeting whims or whatever you “feel” every time the fireworks flash in your eyes.
“Patriotism” is not hard to define, as much as the left would have you believe. It’s not a fluid thing. Burning the flag and shitting on the anthem is not patriotism. It may be the reflection of freedom that makes America great, but it is not patriotism.
Patriotism in America means loving limited government. It’s as simple as that. You like America to have constitutionally limited government, or you don’t like America. Saying you love America and don’t want limited government is like saying you love your car but hate the engine, seats and interior.
Look around you. Look at the life of comfort and luxury you have: running water, indoor plumbing, and a grocery store with well-stocked shelves. Worst of all on your commute to work tomorrow will be a traffic jam that forces you to sit in an air-conditioned capsule with your music on the radio.
You drink freely from the water that comes out of the tap. You will go to church this Sunday without fear of the government or of a mob slaughtering you for it. You wear what you want. You say what you want about politicians without fear of reprisal. Your children have several changes of clothes. Your roads are paved. You can eat whatever you want for your next meal, and you can do it a short drive from home.
You live the life of a king. To be born in America is the greatest life lottery win in human history. The things I listed above are not reserved for royalty. Our poorer people have these things. Despite all the endless moans and screams, all Americans are good. They have lives that 99% of people in history would kill for.
And why do you have this life? You have it because the US government is limited. This life you are living is not an accident. It did not fall from the sky. It was intentional, and others don’t have the privilege of experiencing it.
You get to live it because the sages had long had a vision of what would happen in a society where men were free to govern themselves. This vision germinated in the richest nation in the history of the world, a nation that grows again and again. It is a nation of free people pursuing their own interests, but without government interference. This That’s why you live the life of a king.
So, back to the beginning: would you die for America? Not for the America you want it to be, for what it is: freedom. Do you really want to die for freedom? The freedom to live your life the way you want. The certainty that your children will live as they please and succeed or fail on their merits.
If you wish, wave your flag high on Independence Day. You earned it. No matter your age, race, or religion, if you believe in freedom, you are truly an American.
Jesse Kelly is the host of “The Jesse Kelly Show” on KPRC 950 in Houston. Jesse is a Marine Corps veteran and former congressional candidate from Arizona. He resides in the Houston area with his wife and two sons.