I Wasn’t Born an American, but I Will Gladly Die As One: A Foreigner’s Perspective on America This 4th of July

The 4th of July just passed, and as America gets older and I celebrate another year of this beautiful country with its amazing people, I thought it would be important to share some thoughts on why America is great. I seize the opportunity to remind those who may have forgotten why we should love and be thankful for our beautiful nation.

Lately it has become a common occurrence, unfortunately almost a trend, to witness some Americans loving to hate on America. It seems as if a country that attracts millions of immigrants every year somehow could not make their own proud and happy to be American. For anyone with a sense of logic, that statement would constitute a blatant paradox. After all, how could a nation be so attractive to foreigners and yet so hated by some of its own people? It turns out that some Americans just don’t know how lucky they are to be Americans.

An American smile a day, keeps the hate away.

Whenever I meet new friends, I always get the question, “what do you love the most about America?” You will hear me answer it with a smile as I say “doughnuts, fried chicken, burgers, I mean, you name it!,” but immediately thereafter you will also hear me say “jokes aside, I love this country dearly for many reasons, but freedom and its love for it is the main one!” And I mean every single word in my statement. I truly love America and my American brothers and sisters as much as I love freedom and the fact that it is this country’s main foundational pillar. This is a fact I can guarantee you I will never shy away from.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the majority of immigrants share the same feeling I just described. Our love and thirst for freedom is certainly the determining factor that makes us choose and love America, and although many Americans may have forgotten, we, immigrants, have not. Freedom brings opportunity, opportunity generates happiness, happiness creates love, and love makes a better society. When this cycle happens, everyone is better off.

We see America as the land of opportunities, the same ones that were tyrannically taken from us in our birth nation.

Socialism? Please, never again.

Sometimes tears make us stronger, but more often than not, they are just a remembrance of something sad in our past. By sharing a little bit of the sorrowful experiences I had in my life, perhaps I can help make the case for a constant amelioration of America towards a freer future and prevent the same thing from ever happening to you and to the next generations.

When I was a child I witnessed the unfortunate event of seeing my parents struggling to make ends meet. They were both very hard workers and decent people trying to survive and raise two kids. Despite their best efforts, my sister and I at some point in our lives would open the fridge to find that there was basically nothing to eat, and the very little food we had was already gone off, almost to the point of being inedible. I lost count of how many times I had to cut the gray mold off the bread just so that I could eat the parts of that bread that still hadn’t developed mold. I know it sounds disgusting, and I truly hope you never experience hunger in your life, but when your stomach’s cramping because of lack of food, a piece of gone off bread doesn’t sound so bad.

If that wasn’t enough of a sad experience, almost every day I would see my parents selling many of our belongings just so we could have a little something to eat. But at this point you may be thinking: why is life so hard for such a hardworking couple? The answer is only one: socialism, welfare state, big government, call it what you will. No matter how hard you work, under socialism disguised as a welfare state, chances are that, at some point, hunger and poverty will come to all, just like it came to me and my family in the 80s and 90s when my country was struggling with hyperinflation due to terrible political and economic governmental decisions.

All countries in Latin America and many countries around the world have experienced some degree of socialism and despotism so far.

You can ask any adult who grew up in the 80s or 90s in any Latin American country how tough life was because of Big Government intervention. Or you could just check how Argentina, Venezuela, and Cuba are currently doing economically, also due to different degrees to socialism.

For all of that, it comes as no surprise why immigrants have been choosing America over the last 170 years. We don’t want to experience anything remotely close to socialism ever again, and we certainly don’t want our American brothers and sisters to experience that either. Choosing America to us, immigrants, means choosing life, the free market, capitalism, choices, peace, stability, honesty, opportunities, hard work, happiness, but mostly freedom, which is the secret ingredient that allows all of the above to come to fruition in a nation.

If you can remember just one thing from all of my words, may it be this: do not fall for socialism. Do not fall for Big Government. Do not, not even for a second, buy the lies that government can and will take care of everyone. Love your life. Love your neighbor. Love the free market, and please don’t forget to love America for what it has always stood for: freedom!

But before I go, I wanted to give you my answer on why I think some Americans hate this beautiful nation. As my grandfather used to say: “Smooth seas make poor sailors whereas rough seas make great ones,” and quite frankly, compared to all of the countries that have tried deep degrees of socialism, America has had a very smooth sea for a long time. This, somehow, has created a generation of weak men who love to blame others for their own failures. They truly believe that society owes them something and that government is the responsible entity to save them from the inherent dangers and injustices of life. Once reality hits, these same weak men find no consolation other than hating their country and blaming others for their incapacity to be productive and decent human beings. For weak men, hating America is easier than getting up every morning and working hard for themselves and for their families.

While many may hate America for what it is, I, along with many other immigrants who were not lucky enough to be born here, will proudly die one day as true freedom-loving Americans. With that in mind, I wish you my American brothers and sisters a very Happy 4th of July!

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Helio Flanagan Veiga

Brazilian professor and researcher in the interdisciplinary areas of Law, Political Science, and Economics. Member of the Libertarian Party and the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Libertarian Activist. Founder of the Facebook page “O Libertário” (The Libertarian). Freedom lover.

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  • Excellent article; thank you for sharing your experiences and love of America with us! So happy you and your family made it here. My mother’s great grandfather brought our family here long ago from Mexico, and I am blessed every day that he did that for his family.

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