and it's Congolese Independence Day
Could not have said it better myself. When people in the DRC asked me why America was so successful and Congo, um, isn't, I'd often talk about the fact that we've had longer to develop our democracy than they have. After all, for the first hundred and fifty years of the USA, most of our population couldn't vote. Congo's only been independent for four decades, and they've only been free of Mobutu for ten years.
The other thing I frequently talked about is the principle of rule of law. What makes America different, I'd say, is that everyone -- from a homeless man on the street to a senator or the president -- is subject to the same laws. If you murder someone, no matter who you are, you are supposed to be tried, convicted, and punished, even if you're a rich man.