Mark Steyn explains what exceptional liberty we enjoy, and why the world should be thankful for American exceptionalism too:
…We know Eastern Europe was a totalitarian prison until the Nineties, but we forget that Mediterranean Europe (Greece, Spain, Portugal) has democratic roots going all the way back until, oh, the mid-Seventies; France and Germany’s constitutions date back barely half a century, Italy’s only to the 1940s, and Belgium’s goes back about 20 minutes, and currently it’s not clear whether even that latest rewrite remains operative. The U.S. Constitution is not only older than France’s, Germany’s, Italy’s or Spain’s constitution, it’s older than all of them put together.
…Americans should be thankful they have one of the last functioning nation-states. Europeans, because they’ve been so inept at exercising it, no longer believe in national sovereignty, whereas it would never occur to Americans not to. This profoundly different attitude to the nation-state underpins, in turn, Euro-American attitudes to transnational institutions such as the United Nations.
But on this Thanksgiving the rest of the world ought to give thanks to American national sovereignty, too. When something terrible and destructive happens – a tsunami hits Indonesia, an earthquake devastates Pakistan – the United States can project itself anywhere on the planet within hours and start saving lives, setting up hospitals and restoring the water supply.
…Americans should, as always, be thankful this Thanksgiving, but they should also understand just how rare in human history their blessings are.
Read the whole thing, but as far as understanding how unappreciated are our blessings, consider the many Americans who flaunt their ingratitude itself as proof of their intellectual superiority and as justification for their moral condescension. Naturally, they reject the idea of American national sovereignty. These transcendent beings range from Supreme Court Justices who want to import international “rule of law”, to Senate majority Leaders who declare “the War is lost” – and stick to that opinion despite evidence to the contrary even the New York Times can recognize. They are 9/11 “Truthers,” who think the Twin Towers were demolished by the Bush administration, and political associations who accuse our commander on the ground in Iraq of perjury in advance of his testimony to Congress.
Among the blessings deprecated by those listed above is the Second Amendment. Contrary to their statist prejudice, it is a quintessential example of why American national sovereignty is a beacon of freedom. Jeffrey R. Snyder, in A NATION OF COWARDS, points out why the Second Amendment is a blessing, and why it is invisible to a certain type of American:
To own firearms is to affirm that freedom and liberty are not gifts from the state.
Reading the whole thing is highly recommended, that sentence captures a bare summary and does not do the article justice. (Note: the stats on “shall issue” states are out of date, rather than the 39 states currently having such laws.)