By PETER CHAN
Voice of Democracy essay contest winner, VFW Post 4321, Tampa
My vision for America is simply the following: I envision an America that has returned to the principles on which it was founded. I envision an America that has rekindled the torches of freedom and liberty so that people all over the world can once again see the shining promise of opportunity that America has to offer. The America I envision not only stands shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with her allies but also respects the leaders of her allies. The America that I envision actively and relentlessly promotes democracy and the promises of freedom throughout the world. The America I envision respects the right to privacy of all Americans and uses more legal means to wage the War on Terror.
The America I envision has revitalized the world’s greatest economic powerhouse through deregulation and lower taxation. The America I envision doesn’t penalize success; it celebrates and promotes it through healthy economic policies. The America I envision has a federal government that doesn’t burn through money; rather, it has a smaller, healthier federal establishment that is not only fiscally responsible but also seeks to stimulate economic growth rather than to stifle it.
The America I envision has returned to a “citizen government” by limiting the influence of businesses and corporations in politics and has empowered every citizen who wishes to serve their country in an elected office. The America I envision doesn’t abandon her veterans that come home from war; in my vision, America gives her all for our veterans, because they have given their all for us. The America I envision doesn’t hand the future to its citizens; instead, it gives them the tools to build their own futures, for themselves and for their children. The America I envision has built a more perfect union because it unrelentingly and unapologetically pursued the values of liberty, freedom, and justice.
We who are American citizens are quite fortunate to live here because our country is politically unique from the rest of the world. No other nation possesses our commitment to unlocking the potential of the individual. No other nation gives its citizens the opportunity to forge their own destinies. Never in the history of the world has another nation set the ideals of freedom, justice, liberty, and equality of opportunity as the pillars of its existence.
Never in the history of the world has another nation authored and ratified a constitution that creates and gives great power to the monster that is the federal government, but that, at the same time, restrains it with the chains of the civil liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
While these assertions may hold some truth to them today, the torches of liberty and of freedom have been dimmed. Many across the world still see America as the great beacon of hope, but that beacon is beginning to fade.
Our country has embarked on a dangerous path it should never have explored. The federal government’s mass collection of cell-phone data and espionage on foreign heads of state, done in the name of public safety, became exposed for the world to see.
At the head of the federal establishment, the last two administrations, both Republican and Democrat, bypassed the United States Congress, the voice of the American people, and issued countless executive orders. We have an $18 trillion dollar debt that burgeons with every passing minute and with each minute, continues to stifle any potential economic growth.
It’s unfortunate that the domestic and foreign policy objectives in place today represent the antithesis that for which the United States has historically stood. We no longer respect the privacy and dignity of the individual; we no longer enable our citizens to create, innovate, or build. We no longer speak out for the vulnerable, for the weak; instead, we choose the politically pragmatic over the morally right. We no longer lead the world with good character or integrity; instead, we act as weak hypocrites on the international stage.
I can only imagine what would happen if my vision for America became reality. I, along with millions of Americans, would no longer fear a federal establishment encroaching on our privacy rights. I, along with my fellow countrymen would no longer feel the burning shame of our country’s weakness and hypocrisy on the international stage. Millions of Americans would no longer be stuck in a cycle of poverty and could join their fellow countrymen on the path to success.
Our country could unlock and promote an era of unprecedented prosperity never seen before in the world. No longer would our country have an overbearing federal establishment and the weight of $18 trillion dollars attached to our futures. Most importantly, we the people of the United States, would once again be the sole directors of our destinies.
That is my vision for America.