I figured since it's July 4th some post over this day was due. Some liberals can affirm that this is the best nation on earth while others have a hard time seeing it when we can be a society which legitimates torture and occupations. Republic of T has had some posts which asks "just how dedicated this country really is to the ideals it longs to claim." This disconnect can be discouraging.
I can't affirm that this is the best nation on earth or that our conduct is the most laudatory. But I can affirm that this nation has produced some of the highest ideals ever known. From the declaration of independence to the emanicaption proclamation. From the vision of democracy by John Dewey to that of the beloved community by Martin Luther King to the poetry and dreams of Walt Whitman.
And having such ideals matter. They can call us to correction and stand in judgement of our present activities, something that activists from the civil rights and the labor movement have often used. They assure us that we have the resources to make for a better world. While we frequently fail our ideals, it's important to have high ones because we cannot be better than what we can imagine.