What Does It Mean To You To Be An American?

In recognition of Independence Day, 2017, Forward Nation Radio would like to hear from you about what it means to you to be an American. Please take a moment to share your thoughts with us.

2 replies added

  1. Being an American means enjoying and fighting for certain inalienable rights. We need to lead the world in these regards. Unfortunately, our current government is being hijacked by corporations and their big business media that has employed Nixon’s southern strategy to create echo chambers that fool people into voting against their own best interests.

    Being American should also represent hope for the oppressed around the world, including our own people -the people who live in a struggling poor, working, and now middle class. In so many “great” civilizations in history, when the wealthy are allowed to seize such control (often by pretending to care about the poor), they siphon off the land’s resources and horde wealth, so much so that it leaves little for everyone else. A struggle for survival often ensues. Since a society for the few cannot stand, that society crumbles. These examples are needlessly excessive throughout our human history. America was to be the symbol of hope, but it is currently overrun by greed. After all, how hard do you think it is for a billionaire to tell you what you want to hear, duplicate that message, pay others to repeat it, and keep it out there through social and traditional media?

    Being an American also means that we should not sacrifice the better angels of our nature when it comes to lifting those up who are down, and, we do not sacrifice our morality and reason because a loud politician or leader tells us to do so. We are relied upon to stand up to injustice, bullying, deceit and lies. Yet, some of us have helped to pave the way for these ill practices to creep, to take root, to foster. This cannot be allowed to supplant what it means to be American. With so many who have fought and died to protect us, we honor them by recognizing that this new cyber threat is not theirs to fight -it’s ours. It is inconvenient, but it is most certainly true. It is now our domain and duty to protect ourselves from false equivalencies, false facts, and false prophets. By turning a blind eye or going along with such falsities and practices is not sustainable when you follow it to its logical conclusion. To partake in the benefits that comes with living in America and doing nothing when it is so clearly being threatened, is to parasite off of it. We must not do that. For freedom, ours is a symbiotic relationship with our nation. Remember, democracy has never been easy to achieve or maintain.

    Be vigilant and interject your say as to where we are going but also remember where we came from. Some of you might recognize where else you may have seen a line or two in this sonnet by Emma Lazarus entitled “The New Colossus:”

    “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    -Damian Hardeen

  2. George Smolar July 10, 2017 Reply

    To me, being an American is exemplified by the solitary word on the New York State flag, “Excelsior,” ever upward. We are a people who since our inception always looked at the state of the world and said, “This isn’t working, how do we make it better?”

    When it came to our borders we said this isn’t enough and we expanded to the Pacific. In industry we took to the skies and got people moving on roads. Why? Because it was not good enough before we did this. Before the Wright brothers took flight, airplanes were a dream. Look at us a scant 114 years after their flight. We cross oceans with ease. Why? Because we knew it could be better, so we strove for it.

    There was a study that said Americans more than any other country are workaholics. And I say, you bet your ass we are! While you take your vacation, we’re gonna send men to the moon…6 times(and 2 more times just for sightseeing). Why? Because, why not(yes there were military implications here but let’s ignore those for a minute).

    I could list off innumerable situations where the American spirit was defined as never enough and always striving for what is next. Are we a perfect nation? Based on this last election…definitely not. But we as Americans, all people who came here to strive for more, will not accept the status quo in any form. There will always be another mountain to climb and another giant to slay.

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