For those of us neck-deep in the political fight for America’s soul, it’s easy to forget why we joined this fight in the first place.

Politics has essentially become a cesspool of bad news. Day after day, headline after headline reminds us that our beloved country is in dire straits.

Our modern political discourse is characterized by rage over reason. Fear over facts. Insults over intellect.

We seem incapable of getting along. Incapable of trusting each other. Incapable of just living our day-to-day lives without dragging politics into it.

The state of the Union is, quite frankly, ugly.

But we must remember: the fight we are in is not ugly. Or, at least, it doesn’t have to be ugly. Fundamentally, this fight is good and beautiful. It’s a fight all patriot Americans before us have fought.

But why are we fighting?

Regardless of why we’re fighting today, none of us joined this fight because we wanted to prove our deranged political opponents wrong. It wasn’t because we hated Joe Biden. Or Donald Trump. Or anyone else.

We joined this fight because we love America. Because we believe in the American creed. In everything America stands for.

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On the heels of Independence Day, I find myself thinking less and less about the ugliness of politics, and more about the sheer, awesome joy of being an American. I’m reminded of exactly why I dipped my toes into politics: because I loved this country too much to see anything bad happen to it.

Conservatives in particular need to understand that love for country is one of our defining political philosophies. If we don’t love America, then what are we fighting to conserve? If we’ve become bored with American values, then what’s the point in even being a conservative? We might as well let progressives “advance” the country to wherever they want to take it.

Those who claim “demonstrable” proof that America is not the greatest nation in the world, often misunderstand the very essence of what made America great in the first place. Focusing on narrow criteria by which the United States can, admittedly, be judged inferior to other nations, they ignore our distinct American identity.

But the United States is not great because of its education system. Nor its criminal justice system. Nor its income equality. Of course, these things would be affected by America’s greatness (or lack thereof). But these are not the factors that set us apart from every other nation in world history.

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America is great because of a belief that was imbued into our very DNA. A belief that says all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. A belief in which life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness supersede race, culture, and ethnic heritage.

This is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. It’s what makes America truly exceptional.

We must not lose this belief or we will lose the fight.

So don’t be afraid to set aside politics and just celebrate America. Relish in the glory of this great country and the God who so bountifully shed His grace on it.

Are you still patriotic? Are you still proud to wave the American flag? Grateful for the men and women who laid down their lives so that we might be free? Before we take the plunge back into dirty politics, let’s take this Independence Day week to remind ourselves
why we’re fighting.

Jakob Fay is a former SIA Coordinator and current writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance

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