John Manzella’s opinion piece from Nov. 17, “Don’t destroy what makes America great,” hit the nail on the head. It is far too rare to read a piece with the same nuance and perspective.

As a college student, it is uncommon to hear others speak on the virtues of America. America’s prosperous and positive-sum capitalistic marketplace, strong rule of law, and unparalleled Constitution are rarely mentioned with esteem in the classes that I have taken.

Rather, I am only told of the country’s sins and faults and that America should be modeled after other countries. In the eyes of many of my peers, America is illegitimate and has done nothing but create turmoil and destruction at every turn.

I believe that since the 1960s the weltanschauung of the collegiate campus has, in some way, proliferated across the country and has contributed to American’s declining trust in domestic institutions. This pattern is not limited to either political party.

In order to remedy this pattern, it is imperative that we resolutely affirm that the virtues of the country far outweigh the evils. In my opinion, America is the bastion of freedom and enterprise to the rest of the world. Only after we acknowledge the graces we were afforded by being born in America, can our faith in our domestic institutions increase.

Obviously, this is not the only cause for the declining trust in domestic institutions, but perhaps trust can improve if we look upon our institutions as, in good faith, enabling the American experiment to succeed.

Austin Gaines


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