I know it’s been more than a day since I made my proclamation that I was reentering the world of political discussion, but honestly it’s been hard to pick my subject after so long. However, I got my blood up last Wednesday and that’s usually all the impetuous I need but the writing took longer. But at long last here’s a little piece on what it means to be an American. Full Story
One response to “On Being American . . .”
America is no different than any other “country” that has existed throughout time. We would like to think we are, but in reality we are not.
America does have a geographic border that by all laws and governance says those inside the border have rights and privileges not extended to those outside of it. Look at the mass of Mexican aliens who have risked life and limb to come into this country merely because they know without a doubt that being an “American” has a lot more to do with whether you make it across the border than anything else.
We also have a language, English, that dominates not only the economic, but the social, educational and legalistic components of our society. Industry has been well-served by this relatively unified language. This is evidenced by the fact that a large majority of European, Asian and even African countries are now teaching English as a primary language in THEIR schools. Do you see America teaching our children in kindergarten how to speak Slavik?
And finally, our “culture” may not be akin to that of the Fang tribe from Gabon, the Inuit mongoloids or the distasteful French, however we do have a culture. It may be ever changing, vastly irregular, and utterly confusing to most people who have spent any amount of time trying to categorize exactly what the American culture is. However the rest of the world sees us as a culture, mostly because it defines us in contrast to them. And I think the events of 9/11 are respectable evidence of that fact as well.
So while I don’t disagree that the fundamental principle that America was founded upon makes us significantly different, I think most of the differences lie merely in ideology and not in reality.