Right from the Middle: We must return to Americanism to strengthen our nation
By William O. Lipinski
In just three short years, our America the Beautiful will celebrate its two hundred and fiftieth birthday giving us a very short time to capture the Spirit of Americanism that our founding fathers believed in and practiced.
The Americanism gave us the self-confidence to become the number one economic and military power on this planet.
The one nation prepared and equipped to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
Extremely unfortunately Americanism is at a very low ebb today.
In every survey, poll, focus group, and roundtable discussion.
These surveys and polls averaged out to the following percentages in answer to these questions: how important is Americanism today 32 percent said very important, 30 percent said somewhat important, 16 percent said not that important, and 22 percent said it was not that important at all.
The younger the respondent was the less important he or she saw Americanism to be.
The most important thing to the younger respondents was making money. I believe these attitudes are a direct result of the education the young have received in elementary school, middle school, high school and college.
Once again the younger you are the less you believe in Americanism and the more you believe making money is the end all and be all. The young who believe in both Americanism and being financially successful I hope and pray will be our leaders of the future.
Ironically, the ability to make money and acquire wealth is one of the greatest benefits of American capitalism.
The next question asked of the participants was does the United States stand as the number one country in the world only 21 percent answered yes.
In a survey conducted in 1962, 85 percent answered yes. Why is Americanism so very important, let me tell you why I believe it is.
To me Americanism is more than just a word; it means the ideals, values and principles that define our great Republic. It represents the collective spirit of freedom, democracy and opportunity that has shaped the American experience since 1776.
Americanism means a nation built on the belief that all men and women are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights from God including Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Our Land of Liberty has welcomed individuals from around the world, who are seeking freedom and opportunity.
They know if they stay on their toes and work hard they can reach the stars and accomplish their dreams. That is why we still have so many wanting to come to our Fortress of Freedom. Americanism is about the strong support of the free enterprise system, and the innovation that it fosters. Americanism is about the relentless drive for progress and the willingness to take risk to make this land of the Pilgrim’s Pride even a greater home for people.
Americanism means dreaming big for all American citizens and for all mankind.
Americanism is having the knowledge and the belief that all Americans with a little help and a lot of hard work, determination, and perseverance can live the American Dream, and help build an even greater American nation.
Americanism is a unifying force bringing people together under a shared love for their country.
When Americanism declines it contributes to increased divisions and polarization within our Republic. This causes a lack of common national identity which leads to more and more radical political, ideological, and cultural differences. Dividing America more and more at the time we are being strongly challenged by two totalitarian nations.
All American citizens must do everything to convince their fellow citizens to once again believe in Americanism.
It is the unifying force to return us to one nation under God indivisible dedicated to liberty and justice for all. We should do this by our republic’s 250th birthday, so our founding fathers will be proud and happy with what they have given us.
The laws and structure to create the greatest nation on the face of the earth .
A great starting point would be parents teaching their children the great attributes of Americanism and seeing to it that our schools teach the positive principles of Americanism.
(William Oliver Lipinski is a former U.S. Representative from the State of Illinois. He served as the Democratic Committeeman from the Chicago 23rd Ward from 1975 and as Alderman of the Ward until he was elected to the Congress in 1982. Lipinski writes the “Right from the Middle” Column twice each month. Email him at BillLipinski@hotmail.com.)
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