America has been great because America has been lucky.
In no apparent order here are a few examples.
If the Japanese hadn't gotten screwed up about which planes ought to be on deck during the battle of Midway, North East Asia would probably be a sprawling Japanese empire with us as a minor agricultural vassal.
If Washington hadn't decided to make a hazardous winter time crossing of a frigid river in the middle of the night and attack what - he hoped would be - a disheveled, drunken and disordered component of the British army, there wouldn't have been an us to talk about, making subsequent luck a moot point.
If Harry Truman had been an asshole and demanded that any post war aid to Europe be named the Truman plan there would neither be a European Union nor the Union's attendant years of European peace; instead Harry told his Secretary of State to call it the Marshall Plan because, while he knew Congress hated him - Harry Truman - he also knew that they revered General Marshall.
If Abraham Lincoln had yielded to his myriad maladies, personal tragedies and malaises we would be three countries, not one, engaged in never ending intrigue and war; but Lincoln rose to the occasion, and we are one country: the United States of America.
That's our real story: amazing and unique people rising to the occasion and submitting to the acid test of history and coming out the other end successful - for America.
And that is the luck of America: it's people realizing what they are and reaching beyond that realization for what can, could or should be.
8 November 2016 it looked as if our luck had finally run out: our better angels had fled and their inverse had taken the field.
One of the few things that has kept me as sane as I ever have been likely to be has been my nightly meeting with Yamiche Alcindor, PBS' whitehouse reporter.
I can't count the number of times that clips of her standing toe to toe with trump in the rose garden - and always winning (brains will always drive a bully from the field) have sent me to the rest of my day with the glimmer of our luck still dominating the horizon.
So I am really glad that an association of her peers has recognized her for what she is: proof that our luck really hasn't run out; it's just on lunch break.