An Open Discussion – Participation Requested

So what do you think has made America so prosperous?

Why are we the country so many dream of migrating to?

Is it freedom? Do we think differently than other nations or cultures? If so, how?

How did one of the youngest nations on Earth become the most prosperous and most powerful so quickly and unequivocally?

If we can understand how the United States has created so much wealth, so many life-changing ideas and inventions, and so much freedom, we can make sure to protect those qualities going forward.

So I want to hear from you, what do you think has made this 250-year-old country so exceptional?

Free enterprise?

Limited government?

Natural resources?

Faith and divine providence?

Culture?

Melting pot?

Something else?

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5 Responses to An Open Discussion – Participation Requested

  1. Hal Rapel says:

    I am a first generation American….born in NJ. My parents came to this country to escape Nazi Germany (they say it can’t happen again…they are wrong!). My father, who was born in Berlin, Germany was never considered a citizen since he was a Jew.
    At the age of 20, two years into Medical School at the University of Berlin, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor. My father and his younger brother (then 18), escaped Germany to Holland where they were able to find work and elude deportation back to Germany (a death sentence). After two years, as law enforcement was getting too close for comfort, they fled Holland to France and then boarded a ship to Palestine (the only place they could escape to). They were able to expatriate their entire family in Tel Aviv. The years were 1935-1937 (not a friendly place for escaping Jews since the Mufti of Jerusalem was a uniform-wearing member of the SS). As British subjects, they were able to avert the quotas put on other, similar immigrants of that time. My father could never pursue his Medical career because of the Great Depression gripping our country . His brother joined the Army and fought under General Patton in North Africa. My father worked in a defense plant since he had gotten married and my brother was born on Sept. 4, 1941. My mother and her entire family were able to escape Germany in 1938 because my grandmother’s older sister was a nurse in the U.S. and sponsored the entire family. They were among the last to make it to the U.S. before Jews were no longer aloud to leave Germany. My grandmother’s older brother had served his country (Germany) during WWI, having given his life for his country. He was awarded the Iron Cross as a result of his sacrifice. That cross was confiscated by the Nazis in 1938. My parents picked this country to emigrate to because it offered freedom of religion as well as a better opportunity for me and my brother and future generations. This was all based on the premise that Government stood out of the way. We no longer have such a government. This obsession with being like Europe is revolting. My ancestors don’t share the positive image others seem to have of our European brethren. My ancestors legacy has been opression, living in ghettos, very little opportunity ever to elevate oneself. We are hear in this country because we reject that legacy.

  2. I wanted to post this comment from my friend Karen who is a 3rd generation American from a Japanese family for additional perspective. (The way that we treated the Japanese citizens of the this country during WWII is shameful):
    From Karen: “I am third generation Japanese. My grandparents came here to make enough money and go back to Japan. You could not become a citizen unless you were born here. I was too young to understand WWII and all of the discrimination that my parents and grandparents went through. Fred and his family ended up being moved to Heart Mountain, Wyoming (they lived in Ca.) because of the hysteria of those times. Interesting that the wartime experience left the Japanese more determined to be more American like the people that were born here. They were forced to assimilate because only English was spoken and written. Education was everything.”

  3. Christopher Perez says:

    Thanks for the comment Hal; always good to be reminded of the horrors many faced because of facist governments. I don’t feel that America is trying to emulate the European experience but trying to learn from it.

  4. Gerardo Ritchey says:

    Like all things, it depends on whats going on in the world.

    Historically you’ll probably find that oppression is the biggest reason people immigrated to the US.

    Currently, at least in my experience it’s 2 things, both of them rooted in opportunity.

    Economic corruption, and instability often forces people with children and the means to come here with the hope of providing their children with a better future.

    The other is more prevalent within the middle and upper classes of other countries, and that’s our secondary education system. Although other countries are catching up, those institutions are still only open to the wealthy and for the most part continue to be plagued with political, and religious ideollogues.

  5. Jeanne Guzman says:

    Jamie, It is so good that you bring this topic up. Because the last 2 to 3 generations have lost the essence of American Exceptionalism. Watch this video. Lays it out!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=XNUc8nuo7HI

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