America: The Land of Opportunity… Only If You Make Yourself Free to Pursue It

Having faith in this country has been really difficult lately.

Actually, no, I shouldn’t say it that way…

No matter how stupid, ignorant, closed-off, illiberal (meaning “opposed to liberal principles; restricting freedom of thought or behavior”; not being a Democratic Party Libber) people here get… No matter how much people on the right try to deny equality for others, or people on the far-left try to limit what everyone else says or thinks… no matter how annoying they all get…

I remain hopeful about what it means to live in a place that has this Constitution and the groundwork for “liberty” laid out before those of us who live here.

I understand the principles my upbringing in this country “imparted” on me, and accept them as mine.

I claim the inalienable rights I have by merit of being born—that my life is mine to make decisions about, to do with what I choose, to be as free as I “can” be.

No matter this country’s history, the ideas Thomas Jefferson proposed are part of my understanding of life. Things like:

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.

I have trust in the notions and promises of liberty and self-determination, and trust in the processes and systems set up to protect those things.


I don’t trust that my fellow Americans will uphold those principles. I don’t trust that they’ll stand up for those principles.

They demonstrate time and again a failure to recognize the liberty, equality, and autonomy of others based on nothing more than personal preference… as if the limitations they’re happy to live their lives by should have anything to do with me… as if anyone different is a lesser citizen or unworthy human.

They show, time and again, a willingness to use the Bill of Rights as a shield for their worst inclinations rather than a sword against limitations.

I believe in the potential of this country, in the tremendous energy here, in what we can achieve here.

Harry Belafonte says some goooood stuff in this video: