Professor Ellsworth American Government 8 September 2013 What It Means to Be An American If you surveyed one hundred people and asked them the question “What does it mean to be an American? ” Chances are you would get one hundred different answers. There is no definite clear-cut definition of an American. To solve this burning question, a lot of information has to be brought forward to the public regarding what is means to represent the United States as a citizen of the country. If one truly wants to know what being a true American exemplifies then they must go to imits beyond their deepest thoughts imaginable to find their answer.
Throughout my own personal experiences, I have concluded that no one has a concrete definition of the word American. The truth is that the definition is changing every single day. Most people believe that being a true American includes being a legal citizen of the United States, following the laws and legislation passed before us by our founding fathers, and believing in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ” In a sense, yes, this is a decent understanding of the word. It all Just sounds very superficial and what a person expects to hear.
Personally, I have a different take on the word American. During the debate it was brought to my attention that having prior knowledge to current issues and economic statuses should play a role in being an American. This statement really had me nodding my head with satisfaction. As I mentioned earlier, the definition is far from stable and is constantly changing from day to day. If the United States as a country had a solid set in stone definition of what it means to be a rue American, then maybe this country would be in better shape.
The American population undoubtedly needs to be well informed with our economic status of this nation along with many other suppressing issues. The truth of the matter is that the United States is no longer a nation of natural born American citizens whose family names dwelled here for one hundred plus years or more and the household is no longer fairly the same in most places. America’s majority are people who migrated here from other countries and became Americans within the last fifteen years or so.
Sadly, I believe a lot of households are not as traditional and peaceful as they should be. I would love to believe that America is a land of sunshine and rainbows, however I am not that naive and neither is the rest of the country. The direction our great nation is going in scares me greatly and I believe that a lot of that has to do with morals and values. To me being an American means being bombarded by advertisements and slogans everywhere you go. Whether you are in the comfort of your own home or on a road trip, advertisements are everywhere.
Being an American means buying $100 eans Just to be considered cool or popular at school. Being an American means supporting the government and military in all of their actions, whatever they may be, about what the news has to say rather than what is actually happening around you in your own personal life. Being an American means worshipping celebrities and professional athletes that, often, have no other Jobs besides being celebrities and professional athletes. Being an American means working all year to afford items you don’t need.
Being an American means consuming mass amounts of processed and atty foods, rarely ever supporting local agriculture or simply making healthy food choices. Being an American means being at the highest risk of gun violence and heart disease in the world. Being an American means constantly degrading women because the mass media and music stars constantly do it so we assume that it is normal or acceptable. However, most of all, being an American means being absolutely complacent, unaware of or indifferent about, all of these issues and more. You see my take on being an American is very true to reality.
I for one am not aught up in the bubble of “being the ideal citizen. ” I do follow all the laws and regulations to the best of my ability and I am a natural born citizen of the United States. However that is such a beat down and worn out definition of an American. Honestly, I think that those characteristics are so far off. Lets be logical for a moment. America is full of crime and people who were not born in our country, but yet being an American is often defined as following the laws and regulations and being a natural citizen. I’ll let you ponder that statement for a moment or two.