As part of the Buncombe County Republican Spring Gala held last evening (Friday, May 19th), we announced the winner of our new essay contest.
SAMANTHA GRADY won the competition with her response to the question – WHY IS THE AMERICAN SUCCESS EQUATION (LIBERTY + OPPORTUNITY + RESPONSIBILITY = PROSPERITY) STILL IMPORTANT?
Ms. Grady received a check for $300 and a plaque honoring her achievement.
Congratulations Samantha – you are a clear example of the American Success Equation in action!
Below is the text of her submission –
America’s Equation for Success
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” Combined with responsibility and opportunity, this forms what we refer to as “the American success equation”. The Founding Fathers of our beautiful country intended for this formula to preserve the innate rights of every human being. Therefore, the importance of the American success formula lays in the proposition that without liberty, responsibility, or opportunity, Americans lack prosperity; and without prosperity, we are but mere slaves to poverty.
The very existence of liberty is the driving force behind America’s prosperity. Our Founding Fathers built America upon the belief that every American deserves freedom. They “carefully scrutinized every system of government in existence” (MOA) in hopes of finding a form of government that would satisfy the three main desires of mankind: freedom, prosperity, and peace. American historian at Cornell University, Clinton Raossiter, once said, there is “no happiness without liberty, no liberty without self-government, no self-government without constitutionalism, no constitutionalism without morality—and none of these great goods without stability and order” (MOA).
Furthermore, because of America’s advancements in scientific technology, there is an urgency to provide an environment in which major changes can be handled (MOA). Modern developments such as DNA chips, biometrics, and excessive government surveillance threaten to take away the liberty guaranteed to all Americans by the Constitution. The idea is that America must regain its basic moorings in order to withstand the brewing storms (MOA).
Although liberty remains the key to a successful government (MOA), responsibility plays another vital role in the equation. Responsibility is defined as, “the state of being responsible for someone or something” (Press). The “someone” for whom we are responsible, is ourselves; and the “something” for which we are responsible, is our country. The main way in which we can contribute to a bright and prosperous future, is by voting for morally strong leaders; not only is this form of responsibility, but it is a privilege! Many things have changed in America since the 18th century, but one thing that has remained constant is the right of voting. We must make sound judgements for those we desire to lead our country so that she may prosper.
Americans’ constitutional right to opportunity mattered in the past because it gave people of all religions, ethnicities, and statuses the ability to own land, find better employment (Lum), and pursue entrepreneurship; today, equal opportunity allows both the privileged and the less fortunate to pursue their path of choice and prosper in it. Thus, opportunity is the very thing that allowed for the development of a new and exciting country. Americans saw hope rising amidst an undeveloped providence (FTYL), and as a result it sparked the flame for American citizens to fulfill their manifest destiny—the settlers’ sense of mission to accomplish their divine calling. As pioneers of prosperity economics and political science (MOA), our founders saw it necessary to take the opportunity given to them by the Almighty hand of God. As a result, the settlers felt prompted to contribute to this widespread idea because it promised a prosperous future to all Americans.
What, then, makes us American? What gives us the right to be who we want to be and do what we want to do without inhumane punishment (Constitution)? The American success equation around which the United States Constitution was born protects these innate rights. It is because our Forefathers held high standards for every component of their success formula that we now stand in a free country in which opportunities are abundant and prosperity prevails. However, our Constitutional respect is drifting off to sea and will soon be lost if we fail to take action—this is what our Founders expected of us (MOA)! We must begin to educate ourselves in the Constitution and take on personal responsibilities so that we may hold onto our liberty, opportunities, and prosperity. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Essay Contest Submission – Samantha Grady – May 15, 2017
Lumen. US History I. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/ushistory1os2xmaster/chapter/english-settlements-in-america/ (Lum)
Madison), The Founding Fathers (James. U.S. Constitution . Napervillle, IL: Oak Hill Publishing Company , 2013. (Constitution)
Press, Oxford University. Compact Oxford English Dictionary . Italy, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005. (Press)
Skousen, W. Cleon. The Five Thousand Year Leap. American Documents Publishing , 1981, 2009. (FTYL)
—. The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution. National Center for Constitutional Studies, 1985. (MOA)