What this is…

I believe, contrary to popular opinion, that there are certain common thoughts that actually unite citizens of the United States of America.

This may seem like an impossible dream considering the state of American politics and social discourse today, but I stand by my premise.

As a former US history and US Government teacher, I taught and emphasized certain commonalities of principles, ambitions, dreams, rights, and beliefs that threaded their way throughout the term of the American Experiment.

We constantly surprise even ourselves.  I could easily point to all the examples of offenses, massacres, wars, injustices, and so on.  American history is rife with them, and to our credit, we fess up to them and teach them in our classrooms.  I did this for 14 years.  My international students would ask how such things could happen.  I would explain, “we are as human as everyone else.”  So what is my explanation?

We ARE everyone else.  Every nation on this planet has had someone who has emigrated to the USA and become a participant in this republic’s development.

Posts to this blog will be one different aspects of these uniting thoughts, often, but not always, provoked by current events in politics, culture, education, and other stimuli that impact the direction of this nation.  Again, this is NOT some jingoistic “USA USA!” rant.  More than anything, I hope to be able to provide some context for the attitudes that make up our national “DNA.”

I hope you will drop by, respond in the comments, and be a part of the discussion.  I will endeavor to respond when possible and be available for explanations.

One additional note:  I intend to begin a weekly podcast.  These will be a short story of someone who significantly contributed to the American experience.  Some of them will be well-known, others will be completely unknown, but all should be stories that will surprise and delight the listener and perhaps make your commute or busy time a little more enjoyable.

Hope to see you here often!

6 Replies to “What this is…”

  1. Thanks!!!! It is not the shortcomings of our history that matter but rather our miraculous progress and contribution to the world.

    When one is objective and looks at these issues with perspective there is no other conclusion to reached other than the conclusion that supports the idea that something trually amazing has taken place in America over the last 350 years.

    Understanding what happened.and why it happened is critical.

  2. The strength of America lies in it’s integrity. Not that it perfectly demonstrates its ideals as laid out in the founding documents–not nearly so. America’s integrity exists in its willingness to wrestle with its discrepancies and inconsistencies. Recognizing the colossal injustice of slavery, Jefferson and Adams predicted a fiery reconciliation in the crucible of the Civil War. As a metaphorical adolescent America coming to grips with slavery, Huckleberry Finn would rather go to hell than betray his friend and runaway slave, Jim. Simultaneously, Huck plays cruel pranks on Jim and then feels guilty. While it’s not pretty, at least it’s out there and the grappling continues.

    1. Thanks for the response, Tim. I agree. There is ample evidence of the failings that the USA has demonstrated over the years. When one takes the viewpoint of a historian, and compares it to other hegemonic powers in the long road of human history, there is no other nation that has accomplished so much in so short a period of time and often “cleaned up” it’s own messes to improve on living up to our own lofty ideals. That’s one of the themes I look forward to exploring in this blog. Thanks for the input!

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