We sit here on this national holiday, flipping channels and contemplating the meaning of this day off from work. We are first and foremost proud and appreciative of living in these United States of America. We are so blessed. We live in a country that was founded on freedom and life with liberty and the pursuit of happiness, hippiness or whatever path we choose to travel.

The news today is not stellar. We have violence running amuck. Talking heads wag and can't understand the events. What happened to the land of the Pilgrims Pride who came here for religious freedom and liberty?  

Well, first of all the Pilgrims didn't come here for religious freedom. They had that in the Netherlands but couldn't keep the kids going to church, speaking the king's English and not intermarrying the “non-P's”. After the trip here, they fought amongst themselves and had to sign a pact to prevent food fights. I'm sure no one remembers the early King Phillip's war, which killed a larger percentage of Americans than all other wars put together to date.  Even farmers fought, from the Hatfields and McCoys to the Black Patch Tobacco wars, which happened in my backyard. Look this one up. Local farmers broke the Duke’s tobacco monopoly. We knew the farm equipment dealer in Hopkinsville, Ky. who founded "The Planter's Hardware" tractor dealership. 

Despite all the negatives and false histories we are taught about this nation, we are the greatest experiment in a democratic society that has existed in the annals of mankind. We are a melting pot of the world's best and brightest, and the gene pool is deep. The politics of the people swing like a pendulum but always returns to the middle. We were founded by those who wanted a better life, and the founding fathers were mostly businessmen who wanted to invest and make a profit and be free from government leeches who drained the profits and stifled creativity (Ok, some were a tad para-legal “businesses”).  

The same movers and shakers exist today. That ever-deepening gene pool keeps us honest, and we still struggle with taxes. The market today can “Bud-light” anyone who gets too far out of step. We as business people live in the best time ever. We have the most information at our fingertips, and opportunity abounds for those not afraid to test the waters and use that American ingredient — hard work — and we can put those together for a lifestyle the rest of the world envies. 

Hats off to those who fought, suffered, died and helped bond this nation into what it is today. We are the messiest, most diverse, funniest, most fun, best fed (thank you, farmers and farm industry) and opportunity-rich country that will ever exist on the earth. We have kept emperors and angry little men with funny mustaches at bay. We were not always 100% true and right, but we beat whatever is in second place by a longshot. 

Whenever the stars and stripes appear in a crisis situation, the world looks at it as a sign of hope, not fear. We are the most benevolent people in the history of the world, as well. Every July 4th, when listening to either the liberal or conservative news commentators or naysayers, remember the lyrics of Lee Greenwood:

"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. 

“And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today,

“'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land — God bless the U.S.A.!”

Told from the perspective of an in-the-trenches owner/operator — Tim Brannon of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn. —  Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon will inform, entertain and provide a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.



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