America, the “mindset”

“America” is a mindset and concept as much as it is a country.

There are those who are of this mindset and those that aren’t and only benefit, as Bill Maher said, by riding “on the coattails of past generations.” I recently read a post by the Liberal Hypersomniac about a New York Times article called Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge. Those that simply live in America may be. “Americans” who understood what it means to have that title, are not.

That is to say, there’s more to being “American” than just being born here or becoming naturalized.

Being a citizen makes you part of “America” the country. Being hard working, resourceful and attempting to become successful while improving yours and your fellow man’s quality of life gets you to “America” the mindset. There was, for a time, in the nation’s history where the two were inseparable, but that period ended sometime after the 70’s. The “Me Generation” of the late 70’s (no offense to you all) have pretty much boiled away a lot of “America” the mindset.

But that’s OK.

You had the right think what you want, feel what you want, or not feel what you want (with enough pharmaceuticals). Now we get to see how strong this country is as a self-supporting entity by collecting itself off the floor of anti-intellectualism and selfishness and see where it’s population came from, what made it great, is it still great, and what those new denizens have contributed to build “America”, the mindset.

Glory, Status and Power are a lot like water. You will have plenty of it while it rains and last long if you replenish and conserve. But keep drinking away and throwing away without care as to where it came from and why, and you will suffer a drought from which you will never recover.

Let’s not just say to every country on Earth, that this is the greatest, let’s start acting in a manner that will allow us to earn the title.

Edit :

I thought some people will get a kick out of this…



8 thoughts on “America, the “mindset”

  1. Of course, try and argue with these people, and their self-righteousness and utter indignation for anything attempting to impinge on their self-concept will blow away any rational argument you can present.

    Not because their argument is better. Only because theirs is irrational.

    It’s extremely cynical, but I’m almost wondering if it wouldn’t take a stint into second class nation-hood for everyone to realize that the sources of power and prestige lie in more than just birthright or naturalization.

  2. Well, sometimes losing what you have is a good way to make them understand what you had.

    I don’t think it works in this case.

    Part of the reason we’re in this mess was because our leaders decided we couldn’t be trusted with our freedoms. Second class nation-hood will only prove their point. “We told you so” they would say. You’re too irresponsible to be allowed any freedom.

    The whole point is to understand what self-determination can accomplish. If the nation that claims to endorse it the most cannot succeed at self-determination, then that would be a blow to the concept itself. A lot of people would be convinced that the right to think what you please and do what you please is not a good idea. This could only pave the way for straight-jacket legislation and “America” the mindset would end up being stifled.

    The only solution I see here is to implement the very ideals this nation claims to stand for. To work at the very values it claims to hold on to.

    Bottom line… “Practice what you preach”.
    I love “America”, the mindset. But, I think it needs to be adopted voluntarily. The best way to convince people is to lead by example.

  3. It all seems to be under the guise of “protection from terrorists.” It’s a complete contradiction: in order to protect and preserve that which we say we stand for, we (apparently) have to give that up.

    Sorry, but um, Mr President? Did I miss something?

    Good point on the consequence of becoming a second-class nation. I would say that we had the whole self-determination ideal at least somewhat more correct in our past (relative to the present), but as you so succinctly put it, with the “me” generation and subsequent terrorist attacks, that all seems to have flown out the window.

    I am sure I’m oversimplifying, as I have a tendency to do. :P

  4. Thanks for the plug on my blog. And those youtube clips were funny but sooo sad.

    As a child of immigrant parents, I was raise to take my citizenship seriously. I’ve voted in every election since I was able to vote. I try to research the positions of the candidates running as best I can and I try to motivate my friends to do the same. It saddens and angers me when I talk with my fellow countrymen and they know little information of things outside of our country. It really infuriates me when they know little of things inside our country. I feel that many of my fellow citizens, mostly the ones younger than I, have grown up with a sense of entitlement. The feeling they deserve everything without having to put in any work to get the everything. As you wrote about they have lost “America” the mindset.

    A British friend of mine who lives in the states commented to me on this blog topic the following:
    “The media, and a sense that we all deserve something (You deserve that new house, you deserve that new Mercedes), makes people feel that they are the center of everything to a certain degree. That their opinion is the correct one. That “there is no such thing as evidence or fact, just opinion……….part of this stems from an ingrained self-righteous belief that America is the best place to live, that nothing outside of America is of as much value or import. That America is the best place on the planet. Nothing outside really matters.”

    I love this country and do believe that the principles it was founded on make it a great country, a great concept. But I also understand that I am part of a global community that includes citizens of other countries. I understand that if we are to continue growing and maturing as a country and as a people we must learn to get along. And that the younger generation must regain that “America” mindset if we are to compete in the global economy in the future. A huge part of that is Education. In order to get along we must understand things about the people and places in our global community. A better educated society is the key to enable us to getting back on track to our potential as a nation. I think we have lost our way and we need to find it if we don’t want to be left behind.

    Please note that I’m talking in generalities. Not all people in the younger generation (to me that means people under 35 yo) are that way.

  5. The good news is that not all Americans are like this.
    The bad news is that they are present in significant numbers to reflect badly on the country.

    Please note… America isn’t alone in the hostility toward knowledge. As that video shows Britain has begun to fall into the same league. Perhaps due to the closeness of the two nations and the similarity in reporting in the media.

    But, we can’t blame the Big-Bad-Tube for all our behavioral issues. Your parents have, obviously, taken an initiative in your education. Other parents must do the same.

    I have a feeling that, with the ever deperessing economic climate, things will change. And finally people will realize those things we take for granted do come from somewhere and it isn’t from a castle in the sky.
    I hope it doesn’t get to be so bad that people lose hope entirely and give up what hope of redemption they have. Or that society degrades to a point where the government can do as they please without a care in the world. (We aren’t quite there yet, but pretty close.)

  6. Pingback: “Is America ready for a black president” and other stupid questions « This page intentionally left ugly

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