BEING AN AMERICAN
(Added to this website on 6/14/11.)
Main MenuThere are reasons why America has been a success even before it became an independent nation. Its government was conceived as being that of the people with limitations of the federal goverment, as spelled out in the Constitution, making clear the fact that the federal government was to be the servant of the people rather than the dictator of the people. With the people as the supreme power, the individual was the key to continued prosperity and hope for a better future for the world.
The evil in the world, those who do not want freedom for the individual, have been active since the Constitution was signed, and have caused an erosion of Constitutional law that has adversely affected the individual and the nation as a whole. The adverse consequences would have been worse were it not for the psychological make-up of the individual American. It is the innate nature of the American along with proper education regarding his enemies that will ultimately preserve America and its superior values.
In the June/July 2011 issue of VFW (magazine for veterans), is a short article based on a study by Professor Alex Inkeles called What is an American?. Key parts of the article should be disseminated to more of the populace along with other information.
Alex Inkeles was an expert on national character, was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a sociology professor at Stanford University. On July of 2010 he passed on, but quite some time before that he presented a paper to the American Sociological Association describing 10 significant traits that had continued in the American character for centuries.
1. National pride in America's virtue and uniqueness. Americans had always been especially proud of their political and governmental institutions.
2. Self-reliance. This means taking responsibility for one's own life, What happens to me is the result of my own doing.
3. Voluntarism. Americans feel obligated to take part in community action.
4. Trust. The openness and friendliness of Americans and their casualness and spontaneity in chance encounters - interpersonal trust.
5. "Can-do" attitude. A sense of being effective, being able to improve the physical and social condition of the world.
6. Optimism. The belief that striving to attain a goal leads to success.
7. Innovativeness. Openness to new experiences and ideas - and how to best use them.
8. Adaptability. Confidence in handling changing conditions and pursuing positive change.
9. Anti-authoritarianism. An almost innate trait from birth. No psychic need to submit to higher political authority.
10. Equality. A sense that one's intrinsic worth is the same as that of anyone else.
Inkeles found that the American ethic of hard work and frugality was eroding. Americans were losing sight of the importance and promise of advancement in work. [Note that the work ethic erodes with more dependence upon welfare. I have known people on welfare that would throw food and food stamps away and would teach their children that they would always be able to get more from the government. In one case, a lawyer told a hopeful welfare recipient to immediately spend or give away her savings so that she would qualify for welfare.]
Confidence in one's importance as a political being was also eroding - pride in governmental institutions and confidence that the individual can actually have an effect in government. [A government that is composed of life-time politicians - who consider themselves to be rulers rather than servants of the people - leads to the feeling of impotence from the voters. Lying to the people, taking their money merely as a means to stay in office, and corruption on a large scale play their part in eroding confidence. Enemy agents in the government are the cause of much of this.]
A Gallup Poll in 2011 revealed that Americans felt that the U.S. is in danger of losing its unique character and its unrivaled standing as the greatest country in the world (because of its history and the Constitution). [The influence of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a communist ploy to subvert the youth of the world, has been the most active ingredient in preventing young Americans from discovering their own history and the reasons for the Constitution being so unique and necessary in its original form.]
The Reader's Digest published an article in March of 2011 on "What Brings a Nation Together". There are four things: shared values, language, history, and religion. UNESCO has been most active along with the teacher's unions in destroying all of these. Other factors are the influx of large numbers of illegal aliens and their call to have languages other than English used in the U.S. It is necessary for a nation to have cohesion among its people by teaching immigrants the national language and history. Immigrants learn the national shared values by being with Americans. They learn the national religious values the same way. Illegal aliens and legal immigrants - who do not have a need to speak the national language - become islands of others like them and never assimilate to become true Americans. It is the goal of communists, radical Muslim agents, and agents of the Shadow Party in the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the civil service, and especially the State Department and other government bureaucracies to effectively eliminate borders and have more and more aliens enter the country to subvert it.
Perhaps it has been changed now, but at one time Boys Town was a means of taking in delinquent boys and making them solid citizens by teaching them within a peer group. As I recall, the boys who had been there for a long time (we can call them the "honest boys") were converts to honesty and community values. These boys were used to influence the new delinquents that would arrive. But for the system to work, there was a ratio of 10 honest boys to one delinquent. This allowed the delinquent to learn by listening and watching. When the deliquent had been there long enough to be educated, he would help the newcomers to learn. This principle applies to immigrants. They will not assimilate unless they live and learn with enough who have been here longer and learned our values and customs. The ratio and quality of immigrants must be kept at a level that will allow our way of life survive.
The same article in the VFW publication mentioned that in 1755, a Frenchman named Michel-Guillaume Jean Crevecoeur was a soldier during the French and Indian War. After the war, he settled on a farm in New York and became an American citizen. Years later he reflected on what it meant to be an American. Writing under the pen name of Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, he stated:
America is not composed as in Europe, of great lords who possess everything, and a herd of people who have nothing. Here are no aristocratic families, no courts, no kings, no bishops, no ecclesiastical dominion, no invisible power giving to a very visible one, no great manufacturers employing thousands, no great refinements of luxury. The rich and poor are not so far removed from each other as they are in Europe.
Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labours and posterity will one day cause great change in the world. Americans are the western pilgrims, who are carrying along with them that great mass of arts, science, vigour and industry, which began long since in the East; they will finish the great circle.
The Americans were once scattered all over Europe; here they are incorporated into one of the finest systems of population which have ever appeared, and which will hereafter become distinct by the power of the different climates they inhabit...
The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles; he must therefore entertain new ideas, and form new opinions. From involuntary idleness, servile dependence, penury and useless labour, he has passed the toils of a very different nature, rewarded by ample subsistence. This is the American.