It’s not because we are better people, for those of you in Rio Linda that’s not what American exceptionalism is. The United States is exceptional because the Constitution of this country limits what government can do and it is the first nation in the history of mankind which constructed itself around the premise that the citizen runs the show and that the citizen is intrinsically free with inalienable rights that government cannot deny because they come from God, they are part of our creation. The Constitution of this country limits what government can do.
The first Ten Amendments the Bill of Rights limit what government can do, not limit what the people can do. The first Ten Amendments spell out what the people are free to do that the government cannot stop. And that, had never happened in human history and in any other government. That’s the exception and that’s why everybody wants to come to America because of the freedom, the unleashed freedom that then unleashed opportunity and potential for the first time in human history. Never in the world has there been anything like the United States of America. It’s blessed, it’s special.
Do you know what the history of the human condition of the world is? The history of the human condition is misery. The vast majority from the beginning of time when ever that was, human beings have lived lives of poverty. They have not lived lives of plenty, they have not lived lives of what we consider creature comforts.
Most people never knew about electricity, most people never new about airplanes, most people never knew about automobiles; most people never knew about the combustible engine, most people knew nothing but manual labor, most people knew nothing but tyranny as their form of government. Most people had very little or nothing because they were not free. They were born free, that’s the natural yearning of the human spirit created by God, free. But there are people on this earth who want to deny and control that freedom.
Should it be difficult to become a citizen, yes, it should be. And it’s not overly hard as it is now, but it should require some commitment, because the United States — and this is probably what you’re going to have trouble finding on the web. I’m giving you opinion, but it really isn’t. It’s opinion based on knowledge of the founding of the country and how the country was intended to be and what it became. And there’s no other country like this in the world.
There is no country in the world like the United States, not even free Western democracies. We are the only country in the world with a Constitution that limits the government, that provides for the primacy of the citizen over government. We do not have a Constitution that limits what people can do. We have a Constitution that limits the government. That had never been done before in the history of the world.
Most people, even today, most people alive today live under some form of dictatorship or tyranny and have nowhere near the freedoms that we in the United States have. They don’t have anywhere near economic freedom and liberty or prosperity that we have, which is why we’re such a targeted destination for people. We stand out.
And it’s precisely because this country was founded on the basis that human freedom and human liberty and the human mind unfettered lead to exceptionalism and greatness. Not that we’re better than any other people on the earth, but because we have fewer restraints and restrictions on us, that we are freer to reach our potential as individuals and as a population.
Well, this led to the establishment of a distinct American culture. And, by culture, I mean, rules and regulations and morality by which the citizens of America live. And this culture was itself rooted in the premise of individual liberty where you could pursue happiness while living your life unafraid of what you think, unafraid of what you say, unafraid of where you go because your government does not have the power to penalize you for it.
So this kind of unshackling of the human being led to untold innovation and progress, economic prosperity. And our population growth — we purchased Louisiana Purchase and won some territories — the population growth of this country coupled with that unique, never before seen in the world freedom and liberty unleashed a population like the world had never seen.
Nations had been around for thousands of years, say in Europe or the Middle East. We, in less than 200 years, had eclipsed them by a factor of 10 in just basic standard of living circumstances. Simple things, like plumbing, sanitation, water, inventions such as air-conditioning and flight and electricity and so forth, leading the world in all kinds of innovation, led to untold millions of people wanting to come here.
In order to preserve this country, it ought to be a very specific task for somebody, not a citizen, to become one. If they come here via legal immigration, they do have to take a test. And those who endeavor to become citizens and pass the test, it’s one of the most proud days of their lives. If you’ve ever been to a naturalization ceremony or ever seen one televised, it’s one of the proudest days of their lives, to become, quote, unquote, an American.
They learn the language. They become familiar with the customs. They do not sacrifice their nationality. If they arrive here as Italians, they’re still Italians, Italian Americans, but they become Americans. It’s a good thing to become an American, to be a participant in this unique, distinct culture.
We are a nation with a culture and a society worth preserving as hard as it takes, as long as it takes, as much as it takes to preserve it. And we are under assault. There are people who think that our society is exclusionary, it’s unfair, it discriminates. And all of that is literally a bunch of caca. We have in the past had problems. No nation on earth has done more to address discrimination, injustice, and it’s an ongoing thing that the people of this country engage in each and every day while being accused of being racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobes.
But I’m drifting away here. The bottom line is that America is so valuable to the world, America is so important, preserving the culture that led to this exceptionalism is worth preserving, and it ought to be hard. It ought to take some effort to become an American. If you have grown up and you’ve not been educated, you want to come here, you want to become a citizen, you need to learn what it takes.
People born here grow into it and that birthright, if you’re born here you’re a citizen so you don’t have to take any tests, you just grow up and hopefully you become an American. But we’re in charge. Every nation should be in charge of who gets in and who doesn’t. Every nation should have the ultimate right to determine who gets in and becomes a citizen and who doesn’t. There’s nothing discriminatory about that. There’s nothing unfair about that. It’s necessary to preserve the country as is. That’s why we have borders and so forth.
Well, what’s happening is that unique, distinct culture is being diluted and watered down by record numbers of illegal immigrants who want to become citizens but do not want to have to do anything required to become a citizen other than show up. And that’s why so many of us feel the country is at risk and threatened.
So, it should not be easier to become a citizen. It’s not that hard now. But it takes some level of commitment. You want to see some degree of commitment. In anything. Nothing in life should be easy. Nothing worthwhile is easy. Everything worthwhile does take some effort, in some cases a lot of it. R. L.