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The Doctrine and Covenants and American Exceptionalism


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1 hour ago, BlueDreams said:

At this point in history, even the US constitution would have been at best aspirational to these verses. It epically failed at protecting all flesh and enabled both physical slavery for almost another century and then did little to curb suppression and bondage through Jim Crow a other laws that maintained separation and artificially limited opportunities.

You say the Constitution "enabled" slavery?  That is an overly dark perspective to be taking.  The 3/5 compromise was not to set a value for a slave but to reduce the power of slave states.  The Founders knew all colonies needed to join together in order for the American experiment to gain traction.

2 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

While penning about removing tyranny and freedom, he ruled over a people and enslaved them maintaining a sense of superiority and definitely uninspired social order.

This Founding Father understood the contradictions in the economic system.  The Fathers were hoping that the "institution" would eventually die out.

At first there were indentured servants.  Some were criminals who agreed to travel to the New World and serve for a fixed period of time.  Others wanted to migrate there but were too poor so they also agreed to serve in this manner.  From the internet, we find:  "In the case of the black Africans brought to English America in 1619, all who were still alive at the end of the indenture period were freed, like all other indentured servants. Amazingly, one of those African men, Anthony Johnson, became a land owner himself, and is considered by many historians to have been the first slave owner in Virginia."  When Mr. Johnson realized he was going to lose the services of his servants (period of indenture was coming to an end), he petitioned the court to make them permanent slaves. The very irony that the first two slave owners were black!

More snippets:  "And what about black Americans who are descendants of black slave owners? Are they to be compensated, too, or will they have to pay reparations? What about a person who has ancestors who were both slave owners (white or black) and slaves?

"The fact of the matter is, slavery existed in Africa for centuries, and is still practiced in some parts of the continent even today. Medieval Moroccan scholar Ibn Battuta visited the ancient kingdom of Mali in 1350-1351, and noted that the number of slaves a family owned was a source of pride.

"Most of the slaves imported to America throughout the course of the colonial period (it became illegal to import slaves into America in the early 1800s), were slaves in Africa, and were sold by African leaders to European slave traders.

"In his 1858 book Travels in the Interior of Africa, Mungo Park wrote, “The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one to the freeman.… All these unfortunate beings are considered as strangers and foreigners, who have no right to the protection of the law, and may be treated with severity, or sold to a stranger, according to the pleasure of their owners.”

1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Umm, slavery??? That's not a good sign, that our new country, decided to head on out to get slaves and bring them to the US. That's quite the stain. ETA: I'm grateful that we have a multitude of nationalities, that is what makes America great to me!

The slave trade had been going on for many centuries.  They merely tapped into it which caused some to gain an unfair advantage over others and unfortunately wreaked distortions in the economic system.

While tragic, we should not let historical injustices (many spanning several millennia) detract us from God's Purpose.  Do not let "Perfection" be the enemy of the "Good".

In ancient Greece, many wonderful accomplishments were made in advancing Western Civilization.  That in spite of the many brutal aspects inherent in developing societies.

In Medieval Europe, further progress were made in innovating philosophy, biology, and all the other sciences.  They did pretty good although they did not entirely wipe out bigotry and superstition.  God blessed them with being able to obtain written records from Greek and Roman and Islamic cultures to help with additional insights that led to the flowering of the Renaissance.

We should NOT be using our current "exalted" state as a template to judge previous empires and civilizations.  We are beneficiaries of their struggles and tragedies and mistakes.  Consider the terrible trials and persecutions our pioneers of the Restoration had to go through in order to learn the important lessons before we could become a world-wide church.

We should not forget that ancient Israelites also had indentured servants.  But mercifully, the Law of Moses prescribed a limit of 7 years of servitude.  But God warned them that if they fell into wickedness, other nations would wipe them out.  The survivors would be taken into brutal slavery.

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

how can it be both "this continent" ( which should include Canada and Mexico) but specifically the US but you for sure aren't a heartlander?

You are correct.  When I said continent, I intended BOTH north and south America.  Sorry for being so imprecise.  I support the Church in having no official geography where the Book of Mormon people resided.  And I do accept that Adam and Eve lived somewhere around Missouri.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

He had an average of 52% approval rating so the assumption of “our” for both great and beloved is a stretch. Feel free to say “my” of course. 
 

https://news.gallup.com/poll/116677/presidential-approval-ratings-gallup-historical-statistics-trends.aspx

Even his enemies now have a very grudging respect for him (now that he has safely passed on).  :P

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2 minutes ago, longview said:

Even his enemies now have a very grudging respect for him (now that he has safely passed on).  :P

 Not everyone. 

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https://www.aaihs.org/the-curious-history-of-anthony-johnson-from-captive-african-to-right-wing-talking-point/

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Walsh contends that the few Africans who came to the Chesapeake colonies as indentured servants have “confused the issue of the fate of the great majority,” arguing that, unlike European bonds-people, most captive Africans lacked basic information in the documents, including names, ages, and arrival dates. They were rendered anonymous in the historical record, differentiating them from European servants who at least maintained an ethnic identifier beyond their indenture. Thus, even if Africans were not “enslaved” by the later standards of the 19th century, they were certainly not viewed as equal to white servants. These early distinctions eventually shifted toward concrete identifications of chattel enslavement and its explicit links to Blackness throughout the Atlantic.

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In accessing the available literature, one knows that legislative racism eventually subverted any gains he or his descendants made in the colony. According to Henry Louis Gates, after Johnson’s death a court ruled he was “a negro, and by consequence, an alien.” Subsequently, the colony of Virginia seized his family’s land and his descendants fade from the historical record. Presumably, they either fled the colony as anti-Black racism proliferated, or, more likely, they lost their freedom. Anthony Johnson and his descendants exemplify how the US took everything from Black people, even if they followed every rule.

 

 

Edited by Calm
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53 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

It is close to idolatry because you put a secular government principles in the same sentence as the gospel implying they are equally important. That is ridiculous and border on idolatry.

Are you saying that God should NOT be calling the Constitution a Heavenly Banner?  It is disturbing that you should have such a hostility to the Constitutional Republic!

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

You seem intent not to answer my question which I have asked multiple times now.  I will be happy to engage you and answer your question when you give me the courtesy of answering/engaging my questions.  

I will simply say this for now, I strongly disagree with your interpretation of verse 4. 

I was mistaken, it’s verse 5 that you need to read. Here it is:

5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. (D&C 98)

So it’s plain to see that unless you’re going to be stiff necked about it, God has gifted the Constitution to all mankind as the form of government that he specifically approves.

If you would like, I can provide you with many quotes from general authorities, including Church Presidents, who proclaim it’s God’s desire that the United States Constitution be adopted by all the other nations of the earth because it’s the only system of earthly government that he directly inspired. These prominent leaders also consistently testify that the United States Constitution is God’s gift to all mankind, and that the day will come when all the nations of the earth will indeed be governed by the Constitution.

Now to answer your question: What the Lord is saying is that any system of earthly government that’s either more intrusive and freedom limiting than the Constitution or weaker than the Constitution in the protection of our unalienable, God given freedom, rights and privileges is bad and less that desirable. Simple...

Edited by teddyaware
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3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Well that's silly. I have lived abroad for 12 years now in three foreign countries and I disagree with your contention that the US is the greatest country. So that's 1 against 1. Who wants to break the tie? Then we can have an authoritative answer ;)

Nationalism isn't patriotic, by the way. It is not love, either.

It need not be a contest for which is "best," and nationalism is an enemy to growth.

How do we measure relative greatness among countries?  What is great about America, or about other countries?  Is it the people, the political system, the scenery, the food, high tech, entertainment, etc.?  Is it homogeneity, or diversity?  Is it tolerance, compassion, or the like?

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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1 minute ago, Robert F. Smith said:

How do we measure relative greatness among countries?  What is great about America, or about other countries?  Is it the people, the political system, the scenery, high tech, entertainment, etc.?  Is it homogeneity, or diversity?  Is it tolerance, compassion, or the like?

It all depends, I suspect, on what is important to the individual or group judging. 

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5 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

How do we measure relative greatness among countries?  What is great about America, or about other countries?  Is it the people, the political system, the scenery, the food, high tech, entertainment, etc.?  Is it homogeneity, or diversity?  Is it tolerance, compassion, or the like?

Is it the righteousness of the people AND the government? In all the countries where I've lived, including the United States, there was great righteousness in both the people and the state. Also problems.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

Why are you rephrasing one of my questions?

Why are you distorting my meaning? I didn’t say that the Stars and Stripes would necessarily be the flag of the Kingdom of God or even that there would necessarily be such a flag. 
 

It’s possible the United States would still exist then with its flag, as Brigham Young foretold. 
 

Or not. But I don’t think you know what the world will look like then any better than anybody else. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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15 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

I was mistaken, it’s verse 5 that you need to read. Here it is:

5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. (D&C 98)

So it’s plain to see that unless you’re going to be stiff necked about it, God has gifted the Constitution to all mankind as the form of government that he specifically approves.

If you would like, I can provide you with many quotes from general authorities, including Church Presidents, who proclaim it’s God’s desire that the United States Constitution be adopted by all the other nations of the earth because it’s the only system of earthly government that he directly inspired. These prominent leaders also consistently testify that the United States Constitution is God’s gift to all mankind, and that the day will come when all the nations of the earth will indeed be governed by the Constitution.

Now to answer your question: What the Lord is saying is that any system of earthly government that’s either more intrusive and freedom limiting than the Constitution or weaker than the Constitution in the protection of our unalienable, God given freedom, rights and privileges is bad and less that desirable. Simple...

I think you're confusing the term "constitutional" with "US Constitution". In the verse it says "that law" which is a specific law in mind and that it supports the principle of  "freedom in maintaining rights and privileges" should belong to all mankind. I hate to break it to you but that principle existed in countries prior to the formation of the USA.I don't see God at all "gifting" the US constitution to all mankind. God wants a principle that supports "rights and privileges" to all mankind-not necessarily the US Constitution

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56 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. (D&C 98)

In other words, freedom belongs to all mankind and is justifiable before God.   That law which supports the principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges (which is constitutional - all governments have a constitution) belongs to all mankind. 

Verse. 8:

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I, the Lord God, make you afree, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.

This is simply about freedom.  Any government or constitutional law which supports the principle of freedom is justified of God and is NOT evil!

56 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

If you would like, I can provide you with many quotes from general authorities, including Church Presidents, who proclaim it’s God’s desire that the United States Constitution be adopted by all the other nations of the earth because it’s the only system of earthly government that he directly inspired.

Yes, please, I would like to see where any President ever said that the constitution should be adopted word for word, as any more or less than that is evil (according to you).  Disregard the fact that it is a fluid document that is amendable and changes!  Which constitution are you talking about which you interpret that there should be no more or less than... the one from 1833 or the one that exists today?

56 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

These prominent leaders also consistently testify that...the day will come when all the nations of the earth will indeed be governed by the Constitution.

 CFR

I would love to see consistent testimony from plural leaders who publicly support a new world order with the US constitution adopted as the law.  

56 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

Now to answer your question: What the Lord is saying is that any system of earthly government that’s either more intrusive and freedom limiting than the Constitution or weaker than the Constitution in the protection of our unalienable, God given freedom, rights and privileges is bad and less that desirable. Simple...

The chapter suggests that any law which supports freedom is justified by God, it says nothing of being evil if it is more or less than the constitution - it is talking about being more or less than protecting freedom.  It doesn't have to be exactly the same as the US constitution whose rights and freedoms are influx.  Our freedoms are influx with every right and law passed (which are constitutional BTW).     

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7 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.

8 I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.

 

How free are we exactly?  Pure freedom/liberty is anarchy.  Freedom is good with limits. Those limits are influx.  It is fluid.  So again, which constitution are you talking about exactly?  Those protections and limitations certainly are more or less than they were in 1833 when those words were written...oops!

Edited by pogi
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And ftr one thing distinct in the three European countries I've lived in. There is a stronger sense of history and better understanding of it. I think there is something very impactful and sobering in being invaded and experiencing war on your own soil, still in living memory.

At our house in France, there is a shrine in front of it, marking the spot where the first villager was shot by German troops. There is s WWI bunker in our neighbor's back yard. The people there remember when they were forbidden to speak Alsacien.

Every now and then when I'm at the grocery store, there is a festive feeling because there happens to be a high amount of elderly folks. There is laughing and people speaking Alsacien. There are people who have lived here many generations. Friends of ours' teen daughter still brings the cows home from the fields after school. Sometimes we go over and buy half a cow when they have a surplus. In school, our children go to a lake and learn how to sail boats. They have classes in a second language.

And btw our mayor lives two doors down and calls us by first name. He is retired from his regular profession but was a national expert in natural waterways. It is a village of 550. The town over has a church that is 1000 years old.

At our family doctor, there was another doctor colleague who died from Covid in the Spring after tirelessly tending to the many  elderly patients in the community. He was in his sixties and was the guy who'd stop on the side of the road to help someone in trouble.

We have community concerts and celebrations, dancing and music and fireworks celebrating the freedoms we enjoy here. 

Over Christmas, my MIL choked on a chicken bone and required an ambulance. They came and stabilised her, and one EMS technician got on one knee to be on eye level as she sat in a kitchen chair. He listened and comforted her in her embarrassment.

I really dislike French bureaucracy, but I have learned that in some ways it upholds human rights better than the United States. But I wouldn't call it the greatest, either. Comparing the countries where I've lived: Scotland, Switzerland, France, and the US are all good and less good in different ways. 

A country is many things. It is foolishness to start with the assumption that one is best.

 

Edited by Meadowchik
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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Do you mind sharing each and every country you've visited?

I don't mind, but I'm not sure what good it would do for someone who has likely never ventured too far from Utah and relies on statistics as "facts". 

I have an international hobby, that has led me to travel to a lot of different countries and meet a lot of people.  I've visited in their homes, and travelled with many of them.  Mostly in Europe.  I've spent a good deal of time abroad.  Of course, what is the "best" country is certainly a matter of opinion and most people I've met favor their own by a wide margin😄.  And of course "best" is subject to definitional variances as well.

England, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia. I may have left some off.

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20 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Is it the righteousness of the people AND the government? In all the countries where I've lived, including the United States, there was great righteousness in both the people and the state. Also problems.

Should we measure greatness by taking a poll?  Can we measure greatness by examining longevity, marriage, fertility, healthcare, education, prosperity, rates of crime, suicide, foreclosure, and incarceration?  Does greatness have parameters?  Are there practical ways of measuring it?  How well does the USA stack up with other modern, industrialized nations?

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9 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

I don't mind, but I'm not sure what good it would do for someone who has likely never ventured too far from Utah and relies on statistics as "facts". 

I have an international hobby, that has led me to travel to a lot of different countries and meet a lot of people.  I've visited in their homes, and travelled with many of them.  Mostly in Europe.  I've spent a good deal of time abroad.  Of course, what is the "best" country is certainly a matter of opinion and most people I've met favor their own by a wide margin😄.  And of course "best" is subject to definitional variances as well.

England, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia. I may have left some off.

In my dreams, lucky you! 

In 2019 they named the top ten countries and Switzerland was number one for a third time in a row.  It's my dream to visit there one day.  https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/23/us-news--world-report-top-10-best-countries-in-the-world-in-2019-.html

Edited by Tacenda
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29 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

How do we measure relative greatness among countries?  What is great about America, or about other countries?  Is it the people, the political system, the scenery, the food, high tech, entertainment, etc.?  Is it homogeneity, or diversity?  Is it tolerance, compassion, or the like?

Definitely our compassion. No matter what someone may think about the wars we've been part of around the world, or how we use our influence to sway nations, our people and military are some of the most compassionate people on earth. We're giving and willing to help just about anyone, anyway and anywhere. Have we had a violent past, no doubt, but we figured it out in a relatively short period compared to other nations. We have tried to bring freedom to women, homosexuals and the underprivileged around the world more than any other nation. In the past 100 years as a nation at war, we could of invaded and claimed dozens of countries, instead we try to liberate, then hand power back to the people of that country, sometimes it's a success, sometimes it's not. Be proud of America, be proud of what we've done to free people around the world. There's a reason caravans walk 1000s of miles to enter America, or brave shark infested waters on a dinky raft to make it here. Negative people can convince you of anything if you let them, be careful. Just because they're happy in their misery, doesn't mean you have to be.

       

20210119_144522.jpg

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16 minutes ago, pogi said:

In other words, freedom belongs to all mankind and is justifiable before God.   That law which supports the principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges (which is constitutional - all governments have a constitution) belongs to all mankind. ..............

This is simply about freedom.  Any government or constitutional law which supports the principle of freedom is justified of God and is NOT evil!

Yes, please, I would like to see where any President ever said that the constitution should be adopted word for word, as any more or less than that is evil (according to you).  Disregard the fact that it is a fluid document that is amendable and changes!  Which constitution are you talking about which you interpret that there should be no more or less than... the one from 1833 or the one that exists today?..............

I would love to see any prophet who has publicly supported a new world order with the US constitution adopted as the law.  

The chapter suggests that any law which supports freedom is justified by God, it says nothing of being evil if it is more or less than the constitution - it is talking about being more or less than protecting freedom.  It doesn't have to be exactly the same as the US constitution whose rights and freedoms are influx.  Our freedoms are influx with every right and law passed (which are constitutional BTW).     

How free are we exactly?  Pure freedom/liberty is anarchy.  Freedom is good with limits. Those limits are influx.  It is fluid.  So again, which constitution are you talking about exactly?  Those protections and limitations certainly are more or less than they were in 1833 when those words were written...oops!

There are democracies like Switzerland, which have been around far longer than the USA.  At the same time, we did have a strong hand in writing the Constitutions of several countries after WW II (in fact, an LDS military officer of the occupation named Dale Clark designed the new West German govt, which is now the govt of all Germany; he was a Harvard grad).

The Founding Fathers were all Englishmen who had been deeply influenced by the Glorious Revolution in England a century before the Constitution of 1789.  Good principles can be recognized as such, regardless of time and place.

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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Why would a world Capitol have a flag that represents thirteen original colonies and however many stars it has at that point representing states and use that to represent every person on Earth? Do you just add a lot more stars? Wouldn’t the Kingdom of God on the Earth have its own flag? Come to think of it why would it need a flag at all? You don’t need the flag to identify the nationality of ships anymore and that is the main practical purpose flags serve now. There were others but they are not really that important in a world that has one nation actually under God with actual liberty and actual justice for all.

One of the big negatives of the church for members from outside the United States is how the church has embraced this American Ideology. American church members speak of how great America is and how all great things of the gospel must occur in America.  Non-Americans just roll their eyes.

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26 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Should we measure greatness by taking a poll?  Can we measure greatness by examining longevity, marriage, fertility, healthcare, education, prosperity, rates of crime, suicide, foreclosure, and incarceration?  Does greatness have parameters?  Are there practical ways of measuring it?  How well does the USA stack up with other modern, industrialized nations?

" Men are that they might have joy" works, I think. Maybe a good parameter to analyse. But...not really to compare country vs country, but to ask ourselves how we must do better. Perish the thought of using the weaknesses of others to excuse ourselves.

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10 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Good principles can be recognized as such, regardless of time and place.

Exactly!  That is what D&C 98 is about, in my opinion.

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5 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Well that's silly. I have lived abroad for 12 years now in three foreign countries and I disagree with your contention that the US is the greatest country. So that's 1 against 1. Who wants to break the tie? Then we can have an authoritative answer ;)

Nationalism isn't patriotic, by the way. It is not love, either.

It need not be a contest for which is "best," and nationalism is an enemy to growth.

I completely disagree with your conclusions.  I think that there are some great countries out there, but 20 million illegal immigrants (and more coming all the time) can't be wrong.😀

The reality is, that when the SHTF, the US is the magnet for all the world's scared money.  This has been true for over a hundred years now, and won't change in my lifetime. 

No other nation has the combination of geography, good people, good government, climates, economy, and etc. that we do.  That's just a fact.  

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

In my dreams, lucky you! 

In 2019 they named the top ten countries and Switzerland was number one for a third time in a row.  It's my dream to visit there one day.  https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/23/us-news--world-report-top-10-best-countries-in-the-world-in-2019-.html

Please enjoy your visit.  I've been there many times.  Bring Money.  It is the most expensive country in Europe.  You could not duplicate your current lifestyle in Switzerland making what you make now.🤨

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1 minute ago, mrmarklin said:

I completely disagree with your conclusions.  I think that there are some great countries out there, but 20 million illegal immigrants (and more coming all the time) can't be wrong.😀

The reality is, that when the SHTF, the US is the magnet for all the world's scared money.  This has been true for over a hundred years now, and won't change in my lifetime. 

No other nation has the combination of geography, good people, good government, climates, economy, and etc. that we do.  That's just a fact.  

Sorry, but no. Your combination of parameters is arbitrary. It's just your opinion.

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