We have become a nation of complainers. Everybody has their own special interests and have no qualms about vocally supporting and promoting them.

Some of the things we complain about, while important to us, are trivial when compared to the larger picture. We criticize Ivanka Trump’s dress while ignoring major floods and other national disasters. The truth is, we are darn fortunate to live in a country where we can raise a fuss about things that don’t amount to a hill of beans.

It seems that lately all we hear are bad things, or supposedly bad things, about our country. Seldom do we concentrate on the good things about America.

What is lost on far too many people, particularly young people, is that we live in the best nation in the world. Nowhere do citizens of any country enjoy the freedoms that accrue to citizens of the USA.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides for freedom of religion, speech, assembly and the press. Citing those expressed freedoms, Americans are free to say or do just about anything they wish. Even expressions that sit outside the bounds of decorum are permitted. Here in America, freedom is freedom, period.

Here, people such as I are free to write political commentary from a conservative point of view. And those on the other side of the political spectrum have that same freedom.

We Americans have freedom of travel. There is no need to ask permission to travel from one state to another. This is a very big deal. Just ask someone in any country that is ruled by a dictator or tyrant.

Yes, we have poverty and sickness and true utopia does not exist. But still, we remain the best nation on earth and a shining light for oppressed humanity everywhere.

In America, those who need help get it. The poor can avail themselves of countless government services not available in other countries. In fact, some people make a living by directing people to the government services and programs that will do them the most good.

By and large, Americans are good people. Consider the “Go Fund Me” phenomenon. When someone becomes in desperate need of money for any good reason, they post a “Go Fund Me” page. And the amazing thing is that people respond to these petitions for help.

Democrats, Republicans and Independents argue ferociously about funding for government programs and entitlements. This is a good thing, as it puts controversies out in the open and even solicits public comment.

Here’s something else to consider. America’s poor are rich in comparison to the poor of many other countries. The most run-down dwelling has a serviceable car or truck in the dooryard, a television in the living room and a refrigerator full of food. Many of us cannot afford everything we want, but we are plentifully supplied with what we need.

The poor have recourse to programs that help pay for their medical and drug needs. This serves as an example of how Americans care for their less fortunate.

American citizens have every right to criticize their leaders, including the president. Recent comments from the press paint President Trump as a big moron who has no business leading the country.

This freedom to criticize everyone and everything does not exist everywhere. But as we criticize and condemn, we never give a thought to what a special situation we have here. In other places, people disseminating anti-government propaganda would hear a knock on their door in the middle of the night. The knock would preface the offender being hauled off to jail, perhaps tortured and, ultimately, murdered.

American freedom of self-defense, as outlined in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, gives each and every law-abiding American the right to possess and use a firearm. Every other nation in the world has a problem with our gun freedoms.

A country that controls people’s ability to possess firearms controls the people’s right to redress of grievances. The United Nations wanted to control gun rights and possession for every country in the world. But America would have none of that. We are free. And we have firearms to use when the need arises. This, too, is a very big deal.

In America, our home is our castle…the “Castle Doctrine,” if you will. That means that we have a right to privacy in our homes and on property we own. As long as we don’t interfere with others' rights to peace and harmony or break any laws, we are free to worship, plant, walk, talk, grow food and just about anything else we wish to do on our own property. This, too, is something very special.

So the next time someone comes on the news complaining about this or that, just remember that they are guaranteed the right to do so. Only in America.

Tom Seymour is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, book author, naturalist and forager. He lives in Waldo.