Those who live in the gloomy shadow of socialist, communist, Marxist, or theocratic tyranny see America as the land of opportunity. They see “the shining city on a hill” as the last best place on earth where individuals can pursue their destiny. This well-known history of freedom and opportunity makes America beautiful.
Back in the early 1900s, my grandpa saw America’s beauty of opportunity. His parents died in his early teens and left him with an aunt in Missouri. One day he decided to run away and find a new life for himself, so he worked his way to Colorado on freight trains. Once there, to buy food and shelter, he laid railroad tracks in the Royal Gorge and did various other work.
Fifty years later, after a few failures and some notable business successes, Grandpa retired. In his later years, he wanted everyone to know about end-time events as revealed in the Bible, so he started writing a newsletter and producing a radio show. Though he had only a grade-school education, he wrote and published a booklet titled, “Where Do We Go from Here?”
The government neither got in Grandpa’s way nor did they do anything to help him succeed. He lived in at a time and in a place where he could seek his own fortune unfettered by government bureaucracies.
Recently, I met with a 55-year-old gentleman who immigrated here from England. He told me, “I came here because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do in Great Britain.” Like Grandpa, only a century later, this Scotsman sees America as a land of opportunity. So do most of the thousands of immigrants (illegal and legal) who enter America every day. They come seeking freedom, fortune, and opportunity. Most do not see the USA as a bully or oppressor but as a protector of liberties and a place to fulfill their God-given potential.
Haitian immigrant Mia Love said, “My parents immigrated to the United States with $10 in their pocket and a belief that the America they had heard about really did exist as the land of opportunity.” What was her response to her parent’s belief in the opportunities afforded American immigrants? She became the first black person elected to Congress from Utah. She is now a widely read political commentator.
Unfortunately, the beauty of opportunity can be soiled by public unrest, divisive race-baiting, cancel culture, speech censorship, over-regulation, and media dishonesty. Perhaps the biggest threat to opportunity in America is the collusion of a single political party with a few massive international corporations.
When you take power from the people and give it to a small number of wealthy, over-educated, power-hungry overlords and supersized global corporations, the vicious ugliness of tyranny raises its head. Opportunity and liberty turn into “shut up, sit down, and obey.” President Calvin Coolidge warned us nearly 100-years-ago, “This country would not be a land of opportunity, America could not be America if the people were shackled with government monopolies.”
Freedom-loving, opportunity-seeking, morality yearning citizens must stand up when told to sit down and speak up when ordered to shut up. If you and I and a few million other patriots resist the drift toward ugly socialism, the beauty of opportunity will be restored. Will Roger’s noted, “America is the land of opportunity, and don’t forget it.”