So here we are, right at the end of the year of Our Lord, 2011.
It was at times ugly and disgusting, but at the same time we are all still here and that is at least a small victory. And there is nothing more satisfying than small victories. If you survived then you won. There is nothing better than beating the grim reaper.
More gruesome stuff is certain to follow, but we can always hope that things will improve. That is the greatness of Americans. Hope. We always think that the next year will be better than the last. It is what separates us from the beasts in the field and those who want to hunt them down.
There is, at our core, a decency that is appalled at cruelty and evil. Oh we have had our moments of both cruelty and evil, but the majority has rejected that and moved on. There are still elements of this country that will never understand kindness and decency, but most of us do. Those fools who want to hate and be angry will always be angry and hateful, but the majority of us understand that to exist, to remain American, we must shed that awful stench and become one as a people and a nation.
There are times that, as Thomas Paine said, "try the souls of men". Paine was an atheist and died a pauper. However he was a believer in the idea of democracy. There is nothing finer in all the history of humankind than to believe in the idea of democracy.
America, as flawed as it is, still remains the great dream. Ask those who flock here in droves. There are a lot more people trying to get into this country than are trying to get out. Can you say that about any other country in the world? Everyone wants to own a McDonald's franchise and here they can.
The New Year always brings hope and a new beginning in the United States. We can do better and we strive to. In much of the world, they just seem to be treading water. As civilized as they are, there is nothing for them, but more of the same.
Herr Hitler called us a "mongrel nation" and said we'd have no influence on the outcome of WWII. Well, the old boy was wrong. Those who despise America have always been wrong. We've never been perfect, but our ideals will never be less than perfect.
If you don't believe in America as she exists, which at times is hard to do, then you should always believe in the idea of America.
Nothing is finer than that dream.
Well, nothing that I know of.