You’d think that America would be washed up by now.

So how come we are so much stronger than we were 50 years ago? Somehow, in the 243 years since we got started, Americans have weathered Soviet science prodigies, violent lyrics and sex out of wedlock.

We’ve survived a Civil War, two world wars and a Great Depression, not to mention immigrant hordes, alcohol, Freemasons and the “vast wasteland” of network television. We’ve dodged the population bomb, the coming of age, acid rain and the domino effect.

Poor U.S. of A., forever in decline, hand-wringing was the national pastime. We’ve never been virtuous enough, civilized enough, smart enough or resolute enough. Yet, America is to nations what Roberto Clemente was to right fielders. The Pirates legend fretted endlessly about how poorly he felt and how sick he was — while vigorously spraying hits and vacuuming fly balls.

So don’t reach for the defibrillator paddles or the rosary beads quite yet.

Click here>>>To read the full Essay written for Time Magazine by David Von Drehle

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