Presidents come and go. Economic prosperity rises and fades. Our nation fights and wins wars. And it remains.
How many of you right now understand that you live in the greatest nation in the history of mankind? There is more opportunity for more people here and now than ever before, anywhere. All you have to do is . . . work.
Being a Judeo-Christian nation, we should understand that. We are spiritually descended from the Israelites, the name of whose country meant "struggle with God." Each human being must struggle with something because it is the essence of existence. Good living means facing and overcoming struggles. Only through overcoming adversity can people really achieve happiness and confidence.
The Founding Fathers understood this as well. We have the right to pursue property, as George Mason explained. We do not have the right to a share, as Vladimir Lenin taught. Only through learning the values of hard work has this nation succeeded.
I have seen in my own experience this at work. I had parents who started in the housing projects of Charleston and ended up executives. They worked hard, made sound decisions, and sacrificed to get to where they are. It was a little over a decade ago when my family all had to sleep in the same room because the old house we rented had no insulation and only one heated area. Others have risen as well. Look at Henry Louis Gates who started off life poor in Piedmont and is now one of the most prestigious scholars in his field. None of these people have had to fear that the fruits of their sacrifices, hard work, and risk will ever be stolen from them by a government more interested in sharing wealth than protecting property.
That is America at work. Each person, no matter where they start, can pursue their opportunities and dreams. And hard work combined with sound decisions pays off.
Rome could not offer that. Neither could Communist Russia. Only in America. And we can always be proud of that!