Take a good look at the picture in this entry. I want you to take a minute before continuing on with this to think (in your own head, not out loud) what this picture means to you. What resonates with you and what makes you proud when you imagine it every single day?

There seems to be a growing concern in this great country of ours that the American flag means diddly squat to a great swath of people who intend on running the nation as a whole. Whether it's to fit a particular narrative or you're just tired of living in this country and demand change, it's a bit ironic that one is allowed to be extremely proud of their heritage, yet be allowed to rip apart the country in which they reside.

I really don't understand it from the get-go. What kind of person do you have to be to "hate" the United States so much, yet you promote the idea of "the land of opportunity" and how many great things America has to offer? I've heard countless cries from citizens, both private and public figures, who whine about the idea of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Their solution: move to either Canada or another country to avoid having to live under a dictatorship, which they "assume" Trump will be. Many state the same feelings about Hillary Clinton and provide the same solution if she's the first woman elected as president.

However, there's a bigger problem among us than the two candidates running for arguably the strongest and most prestigious position in the entire world right now. Two to three generations ago, in the midst of the Vietnam War era (and this isn't the only time it's been prevalent), many Americans were so upset that they burned American flags in protest of the war. Well, I've seen more than my fair share of people burning the flag of the country I love so damn much. It's really sickening and it needs to stop. I could've sworn that it was against the law to burn the American flag. Maybe I've been living under a rock. I am not sure.

There's a report from The Gateway Pundit that there were ZERO, count them ZERO, American flags being allowed into the convention hall at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. Granted, you couldn't walk one foot inside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention without seeing an American flag being so proudly displayed. However, why is it that Palestinian flags, Soviet flags, and other nation's flags are allowed and no United States of America flags are allowed?

Granted, I may be writing this piece based on such little information, but the story provides a bigger picture here. I understand the Democrats claim themselves as progressive and inclusive of all parties involved. You could even call a good chunk of Democrats "global-philes." They love the rest of the world. They love the whole world, but when someone wants to show off their American pride, there's a censorship of sorts? Why? Why are we censoring this? Are we afraid that fights are going to break out? Why is there this thought that when people say "All Lives Matter" or we wear American flag apparel and merchandise that we are just trying to instigate something with someone who may not agree with it, or celebrates a different heritage?

Donald Trump has this hope of putting America first... He's an "Ameri-phile" and yet he's labeled as a "global-phobe." Hillary Clinton, depending to whom you talk, is being labeled as the exact opposite. Regardless of how you feel about either candidate, let's look at something that's incredibly important to the continued success of this great country. While I, and many others, are for immigrants to come into this country and help boost the economy and help create opportunities for future generations, we also need to balance it by making sure that these "immigrants" are going through the system, abiding the laws, paying taxes, and follow all other appropriate steps for assimilation into the United States of America.

If it takes a number of years to become a U.S. citizen, that's fine. I'm all for it. Also, if you're going to become a U.S. citizen, but want to flaunt your home country's flag and be very proud from where you came, I support you 100% in that. However, you cannot shut me down when I want to display my pride for my great country. Don't tell me that, for example, if I'm of Italian and Irish descent, I'm only allowed to promote my Irish and Italian heritage. I'm not going to get into the whole argument of "the border crossed us," or "we're a nation of immigrants," because that's not what I'm focusing on here. 

What ultimately matters in the end, is if we can be smart and understanding human beings, then we can work together and work WITH each other to achieve unbelievable things over the course of the next 240 years. Will we always agree on everything? Absolutely not. We don't want to turn into a nation like North Korea or the fictional product of "1984" by George Orwell. If that were to happen, you can kiss "the land of opportunity" goodbye and never plan on seeing it again. Let's do the right thing and embrace all nations with whom we work together, while putting America first, that is if you consider yourself an American citizen. It's okay to be selfless and help those in need when that opportunity arises, but we should treat our country like we treat ourselves. If you don't take care of yourself, learn to love yourself, and take care of your business that's happening in your own backyard, then nobody will love you for who you are. It's okay to put US first and help others along the way.