I am responding to a letter addressed to you from Nick Homyak, entitled “A Nation with More Money than God and His Gun”.
I wholeheartedly disagree with Mr. Homyak’s bleak portrayal of the United States. Actually, I was appalled at his false accusations. First, he suggests that “we are a fallen nation.”
We are not a fallen nation. We are not a fallen people.
American exceptionalism is not a “complete hoax and fraud.” Tell the refugee who risks their life on rafts to cross vast oceans to the United States that our values are a “hoax.” Tell the immigrant or Dreamer, immigrants like my parents who settled in Parsippany over twenty years ago, who seek opportunity and hope in a faraway land that the American Dream is a “fraud.” I see American exceptionalism in exceptional Americans; from teachers and educators to law enforcement and first responders, blue-collar workers to small businessmen and women, knowledge-thirsty students to the wise elderly.
I see American exceptionalism in people like Peter Wang. Peter was 15-year-old JROTC cadet who lost his life protecting his fellow classmates in the recent Parkland High School mass shooting, holding the door for students and staff to escape as he was gunned down by the cold-blooded killer. Heroes like Peter make the United States a truly exceptional place. It does Peter and other heroes in these tragic events a disservice to call them “a violent people”, as Mr. Homyak insinuates.
In regard to the “system that benefits [you] not,” how does a system that promotes hard work, innovation, and creativity “undermine humanity’s potential?” There is irrefutable evidence that free markets have dramatically increased the standards of living for the whole world in the past two hundred years. Yes, reforms are necessary to ensure that this system is fair, and corporations must pay their share of taxes to the government, but our economy is strong because of its’ structure and stability.
Democracy relies on our free markets. Free participation in the economy requires free civic participation. If Mr. Homyak advocates for the dissolution of capitalism, he might as well advocate for the dissolution of liberal democracy in the United States.
Our love for our country drives us to fight injustice and promote the well-being of all. Mr. Homyak may have highlighted the challenges we face today, but time and time again, the American people have shown resilience and resolve. “All men are created equal” was not truly realized until 1964, and we still forge towards racial justice and equality. Students no longer feel safe in schools and social mobility is stalling at an alarming rate. Of course, this struggle is nothing new – Americans have struggled since this nations’ founding.
However, today, civic participation is on the rise, with more women, minorities, and young adults running for public office. Students and parents are advocating for sensible gun safety measures, while people of all backgrounds are protecting the rights of immigrants and Dreamers. People feel a sense of active responsibility for their country, whether in the voting booths or on the streets. Our fighting spirit leads us to real change.
In times of adversity, we cannot submit to Mr. Homyak’s pervasive pessimism. We see these problems and we fight for what is right not because America is perfect, but because America is beautiful.
Mr. Homyak suggests we “stop all this god bless America.” I suggest we say “God Bless America” loud and proud. I know I will.
We are not a fallen nation. We are a rising nation, risen by its’ exceptional people.
Czar Alexei Sepe