What It Means To Be An American

What It Means To Be An American

So it looks like the great experiment called America is slowly grinding to a halt as its citizens cling less, and understand even less, to the founding principles designed to ensure her survival. Perhaps you balk, or are even offended, at the suggestion that the country in which you live, in which you define your very identity, is nothing more than a 238-year-old experiment. An experiment, after all, connotes a work in progress, not “an end all, be all.” However, to be an American is to understand, embrace, and defend our supremely guiding document—the Constitution. Without this, the experiment is destined to fail.

Whether they know it or not, Americans are craving a return to the founding principles of the Constitution. What does it mean to be an American anymore? On a daily basis, we are confronted by a loss of freedoms that we have been accustomed to, and assumed were forever, by an increasingly lawless and power hungry government. It is nothing short of bewildering to a generation of Americans who have taken their freedoms for granted.

A steady campaign of “poking the bear” has been underway for some time, and people are slowly waking up to an America they barely recognize. It has reached a tipping point with the current administration’s blatant disregard for America’s system of checks and balances defined in the Constitution.

Senator Rand Paul has steadily risen from the political morass by consistently pounding the drum of civil liberties, with a decided focus on restoring the Constitution. To be an American is to recognize the absolute uniqueness that is America, and that recognition can only be achieved through education.

In the process of accepting everyone and everything, the currently hypersensitive culture derived from “political correctness” has done the opposite by incrementally strangling civil liberties and effectively suffocating the diversity of thought and action that occurs naturally among converging peoples. This is best illustrated in today’s public education indoctrination where learning geared towards understanding the inherent uniqueness of America has been supplanted by a brash anti-America progressive agenda.

In a recent WMD article, Nat Hentoff referred to a conversation he had with Rand Paul stating:

What’s more alarming for our future as a self-governing republic is that so few public schools – from fourth grade to graduate school – have mandated courses in American history, let alone courses in the ever-dramatic story of how our Constitution has been rescued from regal presidents and their Congresses.”

To be an American is to reject the steady creep of today’s rising oligarchy. Rand Paul has taken a definitive stand for protecting civil liberties, best illustrated perhaps in his historic, nearly 13 hour filibuster in 2013.

Paul spoke forcefully, saying “I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees…But I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution.

And that is exactly what we are witnessing— a shredding of the very document that separates America from all that have come before us. Our freedoms are being carved away by executive orders, fearful and compliant politicians, and a general ignorance and malaise that has infected the everyman of contemporary America.

If America is to survive, its people must be armed with the knowledge of its founding document. In 1787, Thomas Jefferson plainly stated “[A] Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.” How can we, as Americans, know what we are entitled to if we don’t educate ourselves?

The Constitution is truly the anecdote for collective thinking; to be free, we must understand freedom and its dire need for defense and preservation. Ronald Reagan told us “freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.” Are we reaching that point? Have we already reached that point? Please share your thoughts on what it means to be an American in today’s society by posting a comment below or following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Written by Adam Michael Hamilton


(Photo courtesy of Sam, Flickr CC BY 2.0)



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