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America means safety, opportunity, democracy and equality. These ideals are an everyday part of life and they are what America means to me.

One of the best things about being an American is feeling safe. There many other countries with a democratic form of government but I feel that being an American guarantees my safety. Mn America you can get in heated discussion with your neighbor over political issues or candidates and you almost never hear about any violence erupting from these discussions. The peaceful transfer of power in the United States is incredibly unusual in the world we live in. In May of 2000 hundreds of people were injured during riots after the French presidential election. French police estimate that 730 cars were set ablaze and 78 police officers were injured during the riots. In November of 2000 Italians rioted after the Prime Minister received a vote of no-confidence. Just because there was no clear majority winner violent protests and riots broke out all through Greece last year. The amazing part about the Greek riots is the huge amount of public sympathy and support from every day Greek citizens. The civil unrest has caused billions in damages and many lives have been lost yet the people committing these crimes are not condemned as thugs or hooligans they are in fact embraced by the middle class of Greece.

The peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next, from one politician to the next is an important characteristic of American democracy that I value here in the United States.


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Even when times are tough Americans look for opportunities to work and support themselves. During the Great Depression many people were out of work in America but they worked hard and we got through it by being tough. During the 1950s suburbs grew very large around cities. People were willing to work very hard to reach the goal of owning a house. Many people believed if you used every opportunity you could live the American dream in your own home. Immigrants came to this country with nothing worked every day to achieve the American dream. Men and women who start out in the mail room have the opportunity to own huge corporations in the future. It isn't like this everywhere in India if you were born to a certain cast as hard as you work, as hard as you toil, you will never reach a higher level in that country. America makes opportunities available to all.

Democracy and equality sometimes go hand in hand. The election of Barack Obama proves that the America has lived up to the ideals in the Declaration of Independence. We create opportunities everyday for our people. The election of a black president proves we believe in equality and democracy for all people.

The United States laid out their ideals in the Declaration of Independence. America has lived up to these ideals. The men who wrote it should be proud of the nation they built. America means safety, opportunity, democracy and equality to me.