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June 29, 2014

Other voices talk about us and our nation

DUNCAN — It’s almost Independence Day and I could wind philosophic and poetic about this country I love and into which I was lucky to have been randomly spawned.

We aren’t there, yet, but our continuing experiment to balance individual liberty with collective democracy is still a noble goal and a reason to aspire.

But I need some time off. So rather than blathering on, let me turn this space over to some other folks who might be better with words and who may be smarter than me, and let them express some thoughts about the USofA and being an American.

 Marilyn vos Savant: “What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom to and freedom from.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson: “United States! Go put your creed into your deed.”

 Paul Sweeney: “How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy.”

 Bono: “There’s a country of America, which you have to defend, but there’s also the idea of America. America is more than just a country, it’s an idea. An idea that’s supposed to be contagious.”

 Margaret Thatcher: “Europe will never be like America. Europe is a product of history. America is a product of philosophy.”

 Jack Kerouac: “This is the story of America. Everybody’s doing what they think they’re supposed to do.”

 Theodore Roosevelt: “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”

 Sinclair Lewis: “Intellectually, I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally, I know she is better than every other country.”

 Walt Whitman: “The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.”

 Bill Maher: “We have a Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities.”

 Richard Cardinal Cushing: “Let America realize that self-scrutiny is not treason. Self-examination is not disloyalty.”

 John Burton Brimer: “America is a place where Jewish merchants sell Zen love beads to agnostics for Christmas.”

 John Updike: “America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.”

 Albert Einstein: “Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.”

 Louis D. Brandeis: “America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human happiness and has prospered.”

 Woodrow Wilson: “America lives in the heart of every man everywhere, who wishes to find a region where he will be free to work out his destiny as he chooses.”

 Jimmy Carter: “America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, human rights invented America.”

 Herman Melville: “You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world. We are not a nation, so much as a world.”

 Gloria Steinam: “America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people.”

 Margaret Mead: “One characteristic of Americans is that they have no tolerance at all of anybody putting up with anything. We believe that whatever is going wrong ought to be fixed.”

 Stewart Alsop: “Bill, the United States is not a company. It is a country.”

 Studs Terkel: “We are the most powerful nation in the world, but we’re not the only nation in the world. We are not the only people in the world. We are an important people, the wealthiest, the most powerful and, to a great extent, generous. But we are part of the world.”

 Will Rogers: “If America ever passes out as a great nation, we ought to put on our tombstone: America died from a delusion that she had moral leadership.”

n Abraham Lincoln: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

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