Independence Day used to be a happy day when all Americans put aside their partisan differences and came together to celebrate the miraculous birth of the United States of America.

But like almost everything in the upside-down era of President Donald Trump, our great Fourth of July holiday has been spoiled by ugly politics.

Whether it’s Nike deciding not to sell a running shoe with a Betsy Ross flag on its heel because a leftist ex-pro football player was offended, or President Trump being charged with militarizing the July 4th parade in Washington, Independence Day has become another thing to fight about for a few days on cable TV and in social media.

Immigration is still by far the country’s most divisive issue now.

My father loved and understood immigrants, but with the way things have deteriorated in Washington, I don’t know if he would have many allies on either side of the immigration battle today.

This Fourth of July weekend is a good time to listen again to the uplifting things he said about immigrants and America in 1989 during his last speech at the White House:

“ ...I think it’s fitting to leave one final thought, an observation about a country which I love. It was stated best in a letter I received not long ago.

“A man wrote me and said: ‘You can go to live in France, but you cannot become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Turkey or Japan, but you cannot become a German, a Turk, or a Japanese. But anyone, from any corner of the Earth, can come to live in America and become an American.’

“Yes,” my father continued, “the torch of Lady Liberty symbolizes our freedom and represents our heritage, the compact with our parents, our grandparents, and our ancestors. It is that lady who gives us our great and special place in the world.

“For it’s the great life force of each generation of new Americans that guarantees that America’s triumph shall continue unsurpassed into the next century and beyond. Other countries may seek to compete with us; but in one vital area, as a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws the people of the world, no country on Earth comes close.

“This, I believe, is one of the most important sources of America’s greatness. We lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people -- our strength -- from every country and every corner of the world. And by doing so we continuously renew and enrich our nation.

“While other countries cling to the stale past, here in America we breathe life into dreams. We create the future, and the world follows us into tomorrow. Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier.

“This quality is vital to our future as a nation. If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”

My father then told a story to remind his audience that “the magical, intoxicating power of America” was so strong it could make even a German POW imprisoned in the United States “fall in love with us.”

“Those who become American citizens love this country even more,” he said. “And that’s why the Statue of Liberty lifts her lamp to welcome them to the golden door.

“It is bold men and women, yearning for freedom and opportunity, who leave their homelands and come to a new country to start their lives over. They believe in the American dream. And over and over, they make it come true for themselves, for their children, and for others. They give more than they receive. They labor and succeed. And often they are entrepreneurs.

“But their greatest contribution is more than economic, because they understand in a special way how glorious it is to be an American. They renew our pride and gratitude in the United States of America, the greatest, freest nation in the world -- the last, best hope of man on Earth.”

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of Ronald Reagan.”

0
1
0
0
0

(11) comments

HwyRovr

Check 8 July “Orchids and Onions” comments to see just what kind of sick individual trolls these pages. Do not report abuse; let everyone see just how low our once outstanding newspaper has fallen.

HwyRovr

One thing about Ronnie the Dim (and obviously his adopted kid) he never met a stupid story he wouldn’t repeat. An example is the anecdotal nonsense about not being able to become a citizen of France, Germany, Japan or Turkey. To set the record straight – FRANCE: Person who has been a resident of France for five years; Person who has resided in France for two years and has a degree from a French University or has rendered important service to France. Also some people do not have a residency requirement - Person who has rendered exceptional service to France; Person who has served in a combat unit of the French Army; Person who is the spouse or minor child of a person acquiring French citizenship. JAPAN: You need to have a bachelor's degree in something valid to get a VISA to work there, then after living in Japan for at least five years. GERMANY: legal resident in Germany for at least 8 years; a livelihood-guarantee of you and your dependants without recourse to social welfare (exceptions are made for people under of 23 years); adequate knowledge of the German language; on oath on the German constitution ; you have to give up your former citizenship. TURKEY: You need to be of adult age (according to your country of origin); Must have lived in Turkey for at least 5 years, with a total interruption of less than six months; Reduced to 3 years if you are married to a Turkish national or if you are a foreigner born on Turkish soil.

VA172

“A man wrote me and said: ‘You can go to live in France, but you cannot become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Turkey or Japan, but you cannot become a German, a Turk, or a Japanese. But anyone, from any corner of the Earth, can come to live in America and become an American.’ You seem to like to take something positive and turn it negative. His statement was from a letter he received. He said this in a pro-immigrant speech to say anyone can come to American to become an American. I do not doubt what you say is true, but all you do is twist into your usual liberal rant about how a republican is so terrible. If you want to do some more research, please list what year these laws were enacted and the source.

HwyRovr

Ronald the Dim repeated the information despite it being incorrect. As usual you want me to provide even more information, despite the fact you never actually respond when I do so. But here goes – FRANCE: 30 January 2012, source, service-public.fr, Ministère chargé de l'intérieur. Also Expatica website as posted on 19 March 2019. “If you want to live in France long term or even permanently, you may apply for French permanent residence or French citizenship after five years of living in France, although this time is reduced in certain cases such as being married to or a parent of a French national.” GERMANY: A significant reform to the nationality law was passed by the Bundestag in 1999, and came into force on 1 January 2000. The reformed law makes it easier for foreigners resident in Germany on a long-term basis to acquire German citizenship. Source German foreign office and also Epatica website. JAPAN: The Nationality Law of 1950, criteria for naturalization are provided in Article 5 - Continuous residence in Japan for 5 years; At least 20 years old and otherwise legally competent; History of good behavior generally, and no past history of seditious behavior; Stateless or willing to renounce foreign citizenship and swear allegiance to Japan. Source, Minister of Justice. TURKEY: The Turkish Constitution, Article 66 set forth the following for naturalization – Legal majority as defined by the laws of the applicant's country of origin or those of Turkey in the case of stateless persons; Residence in Turkey for an uninterrupted period of five years prior to the application; Intention to settle in Turkey and demonstration thereof; No risk to public health; Good moral character; Adequate command of the Turkish language; No threat to national security or public order. What is curious is that in 2017 Law 25901 allows one of actually buy Turkish citizenship through investments in the county.

Comment deleted.
HwyRovr

Prove me wrong or be quiet!

VA172

So 3 of the 4 are after Reagan gave the speech in the last year of his presidency. Get a life. You proved absolutely nothing.

HwyRovr

"So 3 of the 4 are after Reagan gave the speech in the last year of his presidency." And his idiot kid repeated it 30 years after the end of Ronald The Dims presidency, proving my point!

deaton

Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will be the 59th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Four More Years! Trump 2020 = Rovr [scared][crying][angry][censored] = DKing [censored][scared][scared][angry] = deaton [beam][thumbup][thumbup]

Djanga Unchained

😆😆😆😆

Sonny

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]@deaton

HwyRovr

Considering I enjoy reporting on the idiocy of the lying draft dodger squatting in our White House why in the world would I be [scared][crying][angry][censored] if he were reelected?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.