I was eleven years old, chocolate ice cream smeared across the edges of my mouth, sitting inches away from the TV screen and making all kinds of crazy deals with God. “I promise to do all of my homework…I’ll clean my room…I’ll do everything my mom says,” I pleaded. “Just let Tiger win.”
Eleven score and seventeen years ago, give or take a few days, the United States declared its independence. Breaking away from one of the Great Powers of Europe may have seemed like a dicey proposition at first, but today it’s quite clear that America’s bold gamble paid off — possibly because America didn’t consider independence a gamble so much as a struggle for its own envisioned way of life. As Americans, we have not yet achieved the “shining city on a hill” that we have so greatly longed to attain, but we have come a long way.