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It has lately become patriotic to complain that our nation, our home, is somehow less than it ever was [“Clinton’s allies prep for fall duel with Trump,” Page One, Feb. 29]. We somehow find entertainment and satisfaction in shame and outrage and longing for a time that never was.

Yet, while things are far from perfect, there has never been a better place in a better time to live than here and now. In most quantifiable ways, we are better off than we were 10 years ago. Sure, the recovery of our economy has been slower than ideal, but we don’t exist in a vacuum and the rest of the developed world is still in recession, so our recovery is all the more remarkable.

Further, overall crime rates are far below where they were in the ’80s and ’90s, the stock markets have hit record highs, we’re healthier than ever, gasoline is at new lows, illegal immigration is down, we’re far more respected in the world than 10 years ago, our military is still the strongest and best in the world, unemployment is low and poverty is not as extreme as it was 20 years ago.

Of course, there still is the declining middle class, widening gulf between the rich and poor, racism and war in the Middle East. But those are systemic issues that have been evolving for decades. The Democrats and Republicans both share that responsibility.

Despite the bumps, we are still Reagan’s “Shining City upon a Hill,” and the model for justice, tolerance and doing what’s right. Why can’t we build upon that instead of undoing it all?

Richard Sem, Burlington