Since the election, I have heard many people say they are either “finally proud to be an American again” or “no longer a proud American.”
But what exactly does it mean to be a “proud American?”
For me, it means being proud of our nation’s values and accomplishments. I am proud of our Constitution and all that it stands for; I am proud of the fact that in America anyone can make something of themselves.
We have every right to be disappointed in electoral outcomes, and that’s exactly what makes America great. As free citizens of the U.S., we have the privilege to vote for the officials we think best fit our agendas. If they don’t win, we work harder to bring our message to others. We do not give up or lose pride in our nation.
There are things Presidents Bush and Obama did that I don’t agree with at all, to put it mildly. Still, I did not advocate against them by adopting a negative attitude toward the country, but one toward their policies as individual politicians.
I can be disappointed or angry at politicians post on social media or inform others about why I think their policies are wrong, and that alone is a kind of freedom we should not take for granted. On the contrary, it’s something we should be proud of.
America is the greatest country in the world because our citizens never give up. We always have hope things can and will be better, and have pride not only in each other but in our nation as a whole.
It is here in America we won two world wars, defeated communism and put a man on the moon. We continue to surpass our wildest dreams every day. We are a country of hope, optimism and opportunity. Our mistakes do not define us. We learn from them and come out stronger than ever before.
I consider myself beyond blessed to have been born in this country. I was always taught that with hard work I could become anything I wanted. Because of the sacrifices of those who came before us, there are no limits to what anyone can become. America is the land many dream of: where the government was created to be by and for the people and where freedom rings.
Never forget America is the Earth’s last and best hope. Never stop fighting to preserve the freedoms so many died fighting for. If you are disappointed in the direction this country is going, do not lose pride in America — instead, be the change you want to see in society. After all, our flag still stands for freedom. No one can take that away.
Elizabeth Crochet is a 19-year-old political communication sophomore from New Orleans.