Is this a great nation, or what?
Well, the potential is still there.
Certainly the founders set some lofty goals for the nation, the achievement of which would clearly allow this nation to reach 'greatness'.
But, alas, we are not there... at least not yet. Mostly, the things wrong at present were essentially wrong from the very beginning. The entire system was established to make different people 'equal' to different degrees... regardless of how 'self-evident' it may be, there was never anything akin to 'all men are created equal'. From the very outset we fostered a country based upon the annihilation of the people who were already here and already 'owned' the land. Along with that original crime, we built this country with a system of brutal slave labor.
The history of the world is a history of slavery in one form or another. But, in the United States this is contrasted dramatically with the stated freedoms supposedly endowed upon every man by the creator. Other nations/empires didn't make such pretensions.
Our present is a product of our past. Today evolved from yesterday. That the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world and that the prisoners are dominantly descended from the slave population is simply a reflection of and continuation of who we are. That the ex-slave descendant is commonly gunned down by 'law enforcement' without a backward glance by society is to be expected under the circumstances of our history.
Equality amounts to inequality, as pointed out by Frederick Douglass in 1852, "There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment".
Patriotism for minority populations is a complicated thing. The image of so many minorities giving their life for 'their country' in war is distorted by the realism of a star athlete (a minority) being 'blackballed' for failing to do the symbolic honoring of the flag. Whose flag is that, anyhow?
"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..."
Reaching the level of national development as outlined at the very start of this enterprise would qualify this as a 'great nation'. Looking with a blind eye at our failure to live up to our stated goals moves us in the wrong direction. Fighting to allow this nation to actually acquire 'justice and equality' would be the most patriotic thing any of us could do... and that's the truth !!!
of Various Subjects