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Define the characteristics of a great nation and how did America become great...

Smeagol

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...if you believe America is in fact great.

I saw another post just now that said something to the effect that America was built on Christian principles, although I might be misquoting it. It is true many if not most of the settlers who came to the New World were seeking religious freedom. Faith in God in various expressions are enshrined in our founding documents, historical quotes and monuments.

At the same time there is also a dark side to our American heritage. The early economy of America was based on the vice of nicotine addiction and profiting from our exports to European nicotine addicts. As I understand history we must also accept the history of our less than humane treatment of the people already here when our first settlers arrived, the Native Americans. I could chronicle their mistreatment but I won't except to say most of them ended up dead and we got their land and other resources. Although I'm sure there must have been some, I am not aware of efforts to reach them for Christ pursuant to The Great Commission outside of Spanish colonies further south by the Catholic Church. Even the Declaration of Independence classifies Native Americans as "savages." I am aware however some European settlers married, loved and cherished their Native American wives and there were some positive relationships with various Native American tribes.

Labor needs were filled by kidnapping men, women and children from Africa to be enslaved their entire lives and their descendants after them for centuries. Many of the females were exploited as sex slaves as well; whether or not they were already married to other slaves didn't matter to some masters. Fortunately however, efforts were made to expose African slaves and their descendants to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and some masters were amazingly kind and simply were part of a different and flawed culture. As far as American being built on Christianity I think the most honest assessment is it was a mixed bag. Nevertheless, nobody is perfect, not even Christians and I think we have become a great nation even with remaining imperfections.

My question is how do we define "great nation?" Secondly, what has America done or is doing to make us a great nation?

My take:

What makes a great nation.

- Acknowledges faults and seeks to do better
- Contributions/service to the world including innovative products that improve the quality of life of those within as well as outside of their borders
- Leadership by example
- Global influence that is welcomed
- Wealth, not only at the top but a robust and thriving middle class
- Military might but is not abused
- Low crime, peace, prosperity

What has America done or is doing to make us a great nation

- Seeks to be fair to all
- How we treat vulnerable groups such as children, women, minorities and the disabled
- Prioritizes educating our population.
- Given the world advanced communications, aviation, medical breakthroughs and other technologies unimaginable a century ago
- Cherishes freedom, not defined by what we want to do and say but also the freedom of others with whom we might disagree. Example: I might not like people voting against my side but I cherish and support everyone's right to vote even my opponents.
- His people called by his name humbling themselves, praying, turning from their wicked ways and seeking his face (I btw get a big fat F and have much need for improvement)
- I think the greatest uptick in America's greatness as a nation occurred after WWII when we became a superpower and the most blessed nation on earth, probably in human history. I'm of the opinion it was a direct consequence of our treatment of God's covenant people. Genesis 12:3 You can chart the treatment of Israel and the Jews and their status as a nation. My opinion, others might disagree.
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Thom Paine

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...if you believe America is in fact great............-

Impressive....

While I may not completely agree, disagreement may only lie in semantics. Your post is very considered and a credit to your ability to express those considerations in written format. I shall not embarrass myself by picking nits. Generally, I concur and at this moment have nothing of positive merit worth additional commentary.

Kudos sir.

Have a terrific evening,

Thom Paine
 

Respecthelect

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A great nation recognizes the individual above every other creature or organization. Groups of individuals (e.g. corporations or governments) rank below the individual. Government's sole purpose is to protect the individual from force and fraud. A country where men are free to trade to their mutual benefit is a great country. In such a country, men happily serve one another.

A country that seeks to achieve greatness by taking from the rich to give to the poor can never be great. Using majority rule to "take" is nothing more than stealing and no country based on stealing will ever be great. Better to incentivise voluntary service to one's fellow man through individual rights and trading, than to use coercion of the majority to force the unwilling to contribute.

.
 

RDS

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Come October 17 and then I will give you my opinion.
 

Neomalthusian

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I think a place with relatively broad individual liberties and abundant natural resources is a great place to be. Those are the things about the country I appreciate most.

By those criteria, I don't think the country "became" great, rather I think it always was great. In fact I think the farther back in time you go, the greater it was.

Not surprisingly then, my perspective looking forward is increasingly pessimistic.
 

iguanaman

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...if you believe America is in fact great.

I saw another post just now that said something to the effect that America was built on Christian principles, although I might be misquoting it. It is true many if not most of the settlers who came to the New World were seeking religious freedom. Faith in God in various expressions are enshrined in our founding documents, historical quotes and monuments.

At the same time there is also a dark side to our American heritage. The early economy of America was based on the vice of nicotine addiction and profiting from our exports to European nicotine addicts. As I understand history we must also accept the history of our less than humane treatment of the people already here when our first settlers arrived, the Native Americans. I could chronicle their mistreatment but I won't except to say most of them ended up dead and we got their land and other resources. Although I'm sure there must have been some, I am not aware of efforts to reach them for Christ pursuant to The Great Commission outside of Spanish colonies further south by the Catholic Church. Even the Declaration of Independence classifies Native Americans as "savages." I am aware however some European settlers married, loved and cherished their Native American wives and there were some positive relationships with various Native American tribes.

Labor needs were filled by kidnapping men, women and children from Africa to be enslaved their entire lives and their descendants after them for centuries. Many of the females were exploited as sex slaves as well; whether or not they were already married to other slaves didn't matter to some masters. Fortunately however, efforts were made to expose African slaves and their descendants to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and some masters were amazingly kind and simply were part of a different and flawed culture. As far as American being built on Christianity I think the most honest assessment is it was a mixed bag. Nevertheless, nobody is perfect, not even Christians and I think we have become a great nation even with remaining imperfections.

My question is how do we define "great nation?" Secondly, what has America done or is doing to make us a great nation?

My take:

What makes a great nation.

- Acknowledges faults and seeks to do better
- Contributions/service to the world including innovative products that improve the quality of life of those within as well as outside of their borders
- Leadership by example
- Global influence that is welcomed
- Wealth, not only at the top but a robust and thriving middle class
- Military might but is not abused
- Low crime, peace, prosperity

What has America done or is doing to make us a great nation

- Seeks to be fair to all
- How we treat vulnerable groups such as children, women, minorities and the disabled
- Prioritizes educating our population.
- Given the world advanced communications, aviation, medical breakthroughs and other technologies unimaginable a century ago
- Cherishes freedom, not defined by what we want to do and say but also the freedom of others with whom we might disagree. Example: I might not like people voting against my side but I cherish and support everyone's right to vote even my opponents.
- His people called by his name humbling themselves, praying, turning from their wicked ways and seeking his face (I btw get a big fat F and have much need for improvement)
- I think the greatest uptick in America's greatness as a nation occurred after WWII when we became a superpower and the most blessed nation on earth, probably in human history. I'm of the opinion it was a direct consequence of our treatment of God's covenant people. Genesis 12:3 You can chart the treatment of Israel and the Jews and their status as a nation. My opinion, others might disagree.
-

This is what made us a great nation. Our pursuit of freedom from fear for all our citizens.

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.
 

thinkforyoursel

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In 237 years of history ....still today ...Americans greatest accomplishment is the orchestration of SLAVERY throughout much of those years. Add to that decades of Jim Crow ...and if you're honest....that's how America should be defined.
In time that could change but for sure nobody alive today will live to see that day.

You're like that college grad in the first month on the job ....yeah you can find your way to the bathroom ...but your greatest accomplishment is likely graduating from college. Or that newly wed talking about family and being a family man ....to the guy celebrating his 30th anniversary and putting several kids through college ....your greatest accomplishment is simply ..."getting married".


The simple fact is .....America isn't China ...with some 3000 to 5000 years of history. With that legacy you have a much more interesting country and people and it's harder to define them by occurrence over a few hundred years. Sorry but America have a way to go to have this pedigree.

You can rinse and repeat your made-up tripe all you want about greatness ..... and oh by the way ....your propaganda isn't even original because I heard those lines before.
But the truth is America still exists under the cloud of slavery!!
 

Respecthelect

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The founders destroyed British-imposed slavery with the words "all men are created equal." It took a number of years for those words to grind slavery out of existence and a number more to crush prejudice, but as sure as the sun rises, slavery's fate was sealed when those words were adopted in 1776. The doctor cured himself and us too.

Those who would whine about eighteenth-century slavery are malcontents and troublemakers. We have a lot of problems with individual liberty, the new chains of debt and obligation, but eighteenth-century slavery isn't one of them.

.
 

Smeagol

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An inhumane start for sure. We should have welcomed African immigrants to the new world under a fair system of freedom and compensation to help meet labor needs instead of slavery but we've corrected that, IMHO. Today:

- Black President
- 43 Black members of Congress
- 1 Black Supreme Court Justice
- Black Attorney General
- Black National Security Adviser
- 2 Black governors (if you count Gov. John de Jongh)
- Approximately 160 black US Military Generals and Admirals including four star Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, former Commander of Patton's Third Army and now Commanding General of US Army Pacific, Douglas MaCarthur's former command. West Point grad, winning personality, very likeable, commanding presence, very articulate, sees part of his job as not just being a role-model for black kids but all of America's youth. Don't be surprised if he starts getting courted by both parties to run for President one day.
- Too many black TV news anchors and reporters to count
- Too many black university professors to count
- Too many black businessmen, doctors, attorneys, engineers, entertainers, athletes, etc. to count.
 
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