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Don Anderson


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I need help with a dilemma: What does it mean to be American? And Why does it work?

Up-date to thread’s scope: (July 10th)

Thanks for all the comments, they have been very helpful.
I have sorted out my feeling on being American, it maybe a jumbled mess but it is working for me. And to avoid rehashing what has been said I’ll leave it at that.

But the large diversity of views here, and within America’s culture, politics, values, heritages, etc. I have to ask;

Why does it work?

By most standards we are a highly dysfunctional group, and should be a failed society.
But here we are a great nation, and by most logic that should not be the case.
Yes we are the home of the free and the brave, but also home of tyrants, cowards, passive, aggressive, moral and immoral and I could go on and on forever.

Americans are often labeled as racist and intolerant, if that was true we would not have more nationalities and different cultures than any other country in the world.
Being American is a lessen tolerance and that is something we can’t experience in heaven, but I feel the lessen goes deeper than that.


Is American where you live, or is American a belief in freedom and liberty for all?

Firstly let me state I believe we are here to learn from experience that we can’t have in heaven. And recently I have had two events in my life that have me confused as to the lesion I should be learning from them.

My Background: I’m just an average lower-middleclass Midwest American.

Experience 1: I have been researching my ancestry for about a year now, and I feel pride with my findings. So far my ancestors range from English noble that came to America in 1633, to peasant framer and serving maid from Prussia (Germany) in 1820. No slave owners, only union army soldiers, fought for America in the war for independence, etc.

Experience 2: Many people throughout the world, now are fighting and/or protesting for freedom and libe


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  • Jul 24 2013: What does it mean to be an American, and why does it work?

    It means we agree on a few things, and have set up a system to preserve that agreement. That, despite our differences, is the fundamental thing that makes us American. It works because we keep working at it. We make it work because we believe in it, and we believe because we have seen the benefits. We have the evidence that it works.

    That's it.
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      Jul 24 2013: Well said. I criticize America because I believe in it and believe we can make it better.
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        Jul 24 2013: That would be the bully boss management system, and it has been proven the most unproductive management style.
      • Jul 25 2013: So what's your criticism? How do you propose to make us better?

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