From the first time I visited the US at the age of 12, I have always had a soft spot for the US. Every time I cross the border into the US, I get an odd sense of elation at being in that country.
The past two days, I have spent driving through the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and a tiny bit of New York, en route to Ontario. Having driven the trip from Halifax Nova Scotia to Ottawa a zillion times, I am totally bored by the scenery of New Brunswick and Quebec, so this time I opted to go the US route. Of course, what makes that Canadian trip so boring is the fact that the TransCanada Hwy now shortens the length of the trip by making it completely uniform. Double lane highways passing through miles and miles of forest. Not much else. The US trip can be taken via Highway 2 which you pick up at Bangor and continue until New York state. Very slow going, but lots of scenery and a slice of American life.
Americans are friendly first off. Once you cross over the border into the US, people say hello to you as you pass on the street. This rarely happens in Canada. And there are so many more people. Ten times as many in fact. So that makes for a lot of people, a lot of traffic compared to Canada, and a lot more restaurants, hotels, businesses, what have you.
But what struck me most was the truth of something Glenn Beck said on Fox TV last night (another nice feature of traveling is getting to view Fox TV). Beck said that America is the greatest free country in the world. An arrogant statement but it is true. What other country gives it citizens so much freedom? Where else in the world could you live and have the kind of freedoms that Americans have? I can't think of a single country that has that size of population and still manages to give its citizens so much personal freedom. This is a remarkable achievement.
I have to agree with Beck, that the United States is the experiment in political freedom that has worked. I hope and pray that the American citizens fight like hell to maintain that freedom.