What’s Right With America?
Right now, in the United States of America, we seem to be living in a time of turmoil and unrest. We are witnessing protests, some peaceful and some not so peaceful, where rioters are tearing down statues, looting buildings and destroying private property all in the name of social justice and equality.
In these troubling times it’s easy to ask the question, “What’s wrong with America?” But I think we should focus on a different question, “What’s right with America?” The Constitution of the United States of America is one of the things that sets us apart from other civilized societies.
Recently, I witnessed a judge administer the Oath of Allegiance to a group of new U.S. citizens. Before the swearing in ceremony, the judge permitted those taking the Oath to express why they were proud to be a new citizen of the United States. For over an hour we listened to the testimonies of dozens of people who were so grateful to live in this country and enjoy the freedoms that we often take for granted. It was one of the most humbling and inspiring moments I have ever witnessed. It truly made me proud to be an American.
On July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” No nation has done more to fight for the freedom of all men [and women] to be equal in every respect.
Daniel Krauthammer, in an article entitled, “What Makes America Great?” quoted Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who observed, “Americans and Europeans alike sometimes forget how unique is the United States of America. No other nation has been built upon an idea, the idea of liberty.” Krauthammer opined, “Margaret Thatcher’s 1991 words perfectly reflect the essence of American exceptionalism: that uniquely among the countries of the world, the United States was founded not on bonds of blood or race or religion or tribe, but on the ideals of freedom, equality, and self-government.”
The Constitution is comprised of a Preamble and seven Articles. Appended to the Constitution are twenty-seven Amendments, the first ten of which are known as the Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment states, in part, “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The American system is founded on property rights and the right to obtain property. According to The Federalist, it is “the first object of government.” As we celebrate our Independence this July, let us remember what’s right with America. It is a land of freedom and opportunity for all and endowed with the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, of which property ownership is one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken has been in the real estate business for over 40 years and has personally overseen the development and management of over $350 million worth of assets. Ken holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University, a MBA from the University of Utah. Licensed real estate broker since 1976. He holds the following designations: CCIM, CPM, CRS,CCA. Served as the president of the Utah Apartment Association.