This past week, I made a trip to Europe to attend a friend’s wedding. During the trip, I went to Spain and France.
Now, before I continue, I want to make sure you to know that this article is not meant to be a traveler’s blog. There are too many of those online as it is.
The purpose of this article is to talk about my pride in representing my country while abroad.
This was actually the first trip I’ve taken outside of the United States. Every time I had to present my passport to airport security officers, seeing the seal of the United States on the cover gave me a sense of pride.
Upon opening the passport, you can see the preamble to the United States Constitution.
“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.”
Those words jumped off the page and filled me with a feeling of national pride. It reminded me that there is no other country like America. America is the only country that was founded on an idea, that idea being that the people have a right to self-govern and the purpose of the government was to protect the rights of the individual.
In France, I toured the Palace of Versailles which was home to King Louis the XIV and King Louis XVI.
It was a structure unlike any I had ever seen in my life. The ceilings were covered with detailed frescos and bronze adorned the outside walls. The famous Hall of Mirrors seemed to stretch on forever and the palace gardens were as large as a city.
Although I was blown away by the beauty of the place, I couldn’t help but appreciate America more. We are a country that doesn’t have a monarchy and we are in charge of our own destinies.
No one should be ruled as a subject and made to answer to a ruler who lives in an opulent palace. On this score, I am with the liberals on income inequality.
However, in America, income inequality is an inconsequential concern being that a person who earns a large fortune usually provides consumers with a product or service that we all can benefit from and these wealthy individuals create millions of jobs.
As I strolled through the streets of Paris and Barcelona, I wasn’t hiding the fact that I was American. When I would have a chat with a local, I would make sure that they knew I was from America. Contrary to the common stereotype about Europeans, I found no one who showed me disrespect just for being an American.
I was conscious of my nationality and how my behavior would reflect on my country. I made sure to go out of my way to treat everyone with respect and to be polite, knowing that, in a foreign, country my actions would reflect on how the Europeans would think of the United States.
As nice as Europe is, their standard of living is not nearly as high as ours. It is ironic that many liberals seem to want to be Europe even though the standard of living is much higher in this country.
In Barcelona in particular, there were many apartment complexes that were in disrepair and streets filled with homelessness and vandalism.
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the kindness of the French people. The French have a reputation, rightly or wrongly, for being rude and disdaining Americans. However, I detected no such thing in my interactions with the French, and the Spanish either for that matter.
Being an America abroad was an incredible experience and one that I will never forget. As much as I enjoyed Europe, I would never want to live anywhere else other than right here in the United States of America.
I am proud to be a representative of “We the People.”