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CARROLL: Still lots to love about our United States of America
David Carroll
David Carroll is a news anchor for WRCB in Chattanooga, Tenn.

What a country, right? As we celebrate America’s 246th birthday on the 4th of July, let’s pause and list a few reasons to love America.

Thanks to cable TV and YouTube, we can still enjoy the Beverly Hillbillies, Marshal Dillon and Hoss Cartwright, even though few people under 40 know who they are.

We have amazing emergency workers who respond to the situations the rest of us are trying to run away from.

We have “news” channels that lean to the left, and others that lean to the right. And we are not forced to watch any of them. We have towns called Ducktown, Turtletown, Suck Creek, Gruetli-Laager, Orme, Hogjaw Valley, Rising Fawn, Talking Rock, Peavine, Nutbush, Bell Buckle, Rugby, Greenback, Bucksnort, Bugtussle, Flintstone, Burning Bush, Isabella, Box Springs, Rocky Face, Lick Skillet, Butts, Arab, Bartlebaugh, Beersheba Springs, and Scratch Ankle. I’ve been everywhere, man.

We have farmers’ markets with fresh, homegrown produce.

We have the Country Music Hall of Fame.

They still make Yoohoo, Nehi Grape Soda, Paydays and Zagnut bars.

We have a kind-hearted Tennessee native named Dolly Parton, who shares her good fortune.

We have Carol Burnett, Tom Hanks, and Willie Nelson. Not long ago, Willie recorded a song called, “I’m Still Not Dead.” That’s his best title since “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”

We still have “CBS Sunday Morning.” It’s TV comfort food.

We still have sweet tea, and southern restaurants that consider banana pudding to be a side item.

We still have waitresses that call old men “Sweetheart.” Or, at least that’s what people tell me.

Even with tablets, Kindles, and all the other items that are supposed to be “better” than books, we still have great libraries.

We still have some folks who respect handicapped spaces, who use their headlights in the rain, and who return their shopping carts to their stalls. We don’t have enough of those people, but we’re working on the others.

We have weather forecasting technology that can tell us it’s going to rain five days in advance, and can give us a few minutes notice on a tornado, right down to our street.

We have homegrown tomatoes, fresh strawberries, Georgia peaches, and Sugar Baby watermelons.

We have Caller ID and robo-call blockers.

We have texting. Yes, it can be annoying, but it’s a blessing when your children live far away. It sure beats long distance calls, doesn’t it?

We have record stores, so we can buy back the vinyl records we cashed in thirty years ago, before we realized vinyl was better.

We have less painful dental procedures, thanks to that wonderful nitrous oxide that makes my toes tingle.

We have dedicated school bus drivers who safely transport children to and from their homes each day.

We have root beer floats, chocolate-covered cream-filled doughnuts, and hot fudge cakes.

We have postal employees and police officers who check on elderly residents.

We have great food labeling, with information on nutrition, calories, ingredients, and expiration dates.

We have “Jeopardy.” (Yeah, thirty-something years after I said it wouldn’t last. “It’s too hard,” I said.)

We have online, do-it-yourself income tax services that cost next-to-nothing. (I said that wouldn’t last, too. No one ever said I was the sharpest tool in the shed.)

We have life-saving vaccines that really work.

We have a World Series champion baseball team, right here in the South.

We have wonderful election workers. Their dedication and hard work have ensured fair elections and a peaceful transfer of power throughout our nation’s history. Hopefully they will continue to do so, despite the abuse they have endured in recent years.

We have patriots who are willing to put country over party, often at great risk for their own safety, and for that of their family. Their courage serves as reminder of what has truly made America great.

We still have newspapers, and I hope you are thankful for that. I know I am.

And, we still have a free press that seeks truth, and holds those in power accountable. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But trust me: you don’t want the alternative.

David Carroll is a Chattanooga news anchor and author.  You may contact him at