A Dictionaries Definition(s)
To say that Americanism can be easily defined in a sentence or in a couple of lines would be a flat-out false statement, although “Merriam-Webster” does a fine job with their definitions which are below.
“attachment or allegiance to the traditions, interests, or ideals of the U.S.”
“a custom or trait peculiar to America.”
“the political principles and practices essential to American culture.”
My Personal Thoughts
Americanism is more than just the standard patriotism where one enjoys a few hotdogs, a parade and a firework display on the 4th of July or chanting “USA, USA” at a sports bar during the Olympics every four years. In that vein, it’s also more than the thought that America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Yes, America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth, but Americanism is an ideology that one feels in their soul and something that one demonstrates to others in their daily actions.
To me, Americanism is knowing that as a nation, we’re truly blessed by God. It’s about being loyal to the United States and our fellow citizens, supporting and defending the Constitution and fully believing in and defending the idea of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Americanism is also about candor, charity, commitment, courage, economic freedom, equal opportunity, freedom of assemblage, freedom of the press (even the “Fake News”), freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to work in our chosen occupation (if qualified) and enjoy the fruits of our own labor, hard work, honesty, integrity, love of America, loyal patriotism, peace through strength, personal dignity, personal responsibility, political language, positivity, private property rights, progress, representative government, rugged individualism, righteous freedom, self-governance, self-reliance/sufficiency, shared values, traditions and it’s about mixing old-world cultures and forming a new style all our own.
These ideas, values and more, are what makes America a beacon of hope for millions around the world, or as it’s been described a “shining city on a hill.” It’s truly an active, vital and living force, it’s “manifest destiny,” a cause worth supporting, defending and dying for, it’s a way of life that must be preserved, protected and passed on to subsequent generations.
What Other Have Said
“Americanism is a question of spirit, conviction, and purpose, not of creed or birthplace.” (President Theodore Roosevelt)
“Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race or ancestry.” (President Franklin D. Roosevelt)
“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” (President Harry S. Truman)
“We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.” (Mark Twain)
“America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“True Americanism is opposed utterly to any political divisions resting on race and religion.” (Henry Cabot Lodge)
“Once enough Americans reacquaint themselves with Americanism, we should promote it to all countries just as the Left promotes leftism and Muslims promote Islam. One need not be American to affirm Americanism.” (Dennis Prager)
“True Americanism is practical idealism. Its aims, instead of being materialistic and mechanical, are idealistic to the point of being Utopian. In this way, the U.S. can provide and express ideals that strike a chord in humans everywhere – a declaration of independence on behalf of all the peoples of the world.” (Maurice Saatchi)
Is Americanism Important? You Bet!
Americanism is as important now more than ever in our history, especially now that the Democrats have fallen off the Left-end of the ideological spectrum. Every day, the 2020 Democrat Presidential candidates, the “squad,” leftist organization such as Anti-Fascist (ANTIFA) and others invent more things to not only be outraged about but they invent their own reality, a false reality that’s becoming more mainstream and is threatening our way of life. In fact, our nation’s morals, values, culture, and patriotism have been under attack for decades. Not only has the Left taken prayer out of schools, but they’re also taking religion out of every aspect of society, instead of “freedom of religion,” the Left wants freedom from religion.
The Left is also working to undermine the Constitution, the very document that limits government and guarantees freedoms. This is evidenced by their calls for a larger federal government where everything under the sun is a right the government must pay for, as well as their incessant rhetoric about the 2nd Amendment where they’re now actively planning to seize your guns and their attacks on the 1st Amendment as they propose speech codes and “safe spaces” and “free speech zones” on college campuses. Add to this their proposals to legislate the types of speech we can engage in, we’re already seeing this at play on social media, which is merely a testing ground. Additionally, the American flag is spat upon, desecrated and burned, professional athletes and others kneel during the National Anthem all while Hollywood elites are at an all-time level of “unhingedness” and Democrats in Congress are in many cases seemingly out to destroy our nation and the citizens who oppose them. Additionally, Congress in many respects are corrupt, morally bankrupt, self-serving and getting richer instead of serving the will of their constituents. Along with this, Government institutions at the hands of the “Deep State” are undermining a duly elected President.
However, it doesn’t stop there as we see daily that referencing God in public, on our money on public monuments or in the Pledge of Allegiance is attacked, the Ten Commandments are forced out of our courtrooms, history is being re-written or revised to suit the dictates of the Left. Democrats call for abortion on demand to include infanticide, the Boy Scouts of America, a once-great American institution has in large part fallen to the dictates of the Left. Students are indoctrinated not only in colleges and universities but in our elementary, middle and high schools.
On top of this, the Left is actively pushing for violations of our sovereignty and our immigration laws. In fact, they’re pushing for allowing illegals to vote in our elections, they are staunchly opposed to voter ID laws all while supporting issuing drivers’ licenses to illegals, which promotes even more voter fraud and welfare fraud. Illegal immigration cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars annually but asking the Left to support realistic reform is met with attacks. I could go on, but the outlandish nonsense from the Left speaks for itself as their flawed, destructive and evil ideology will continue to be on display throughout the foreseeable future, to see this, one only needs to be honest with their selves and pay attention.
I mentioned that I believe America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth, but I didn’t say we’re a perfect nation, nor did I attempt to assert that we ever were. From the time of our Founding Fathers until the Emancipation Proclamation, we had slavery and until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, we had segregation aka “Jim Crowe” laws. We’ve also (historically) had horrible labor practices and non-existent labor laws to go along with that. Speaking of labor, we’ve had labor riots and many other riots such as anti-war riots, civil rights riots and many draft riots, etc. We’ve also had riots for nonsensical things such as a team winning (or losing) a Super Bowl or the fact that Donald J. Trump was elected President. I could go on and point out countless failures and flaws our nation has, but for every failure and flaw, our nation has countless more accomplishments and virtues. Certainly, we’re a nation of imperfect Men and Women as is every nation that has ever existed, but we’re a great nation because we can find and remedy our flaws.
However, the basic characteristics that distinguish our society and our form of government from others, is the fact we can come together and recognize our differences and find the truth and move forward in a positive direction. That’s not to say that other nations can’t or haven’t done the same things, it’s the fact that other nations would still be doing business in the “old-world” way if our relatively young nation hadn’t led the way as we continue to do.
Bottom line, in the United States, we recognize that our unalienable rights are gifts from our Creator, they’re from God, not man or governments. America was founded on certain basic principles, principles that make up the basis of what Americanism is about. These basic principles also, make up the basic structure of our government and has served America well for centuries and now with the rise of Leftism (in all its forms) in America, we could easily see the downfall on the horizon. However, we can turn the tide and right the ship of state if we act now by getting back to the basics and by celebrating and exercising a little Americanism.