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So ... What is "Americanism"?
Let's look at what Americanism is, and then what it is not.
Americanism is an abiding respect for the traditions, ideals and interests of the United States of America. There ... you have the dictionary version. And it's true.
Americanism is also the embodiment of the hopes and dreams of the patriots who fought to create our nation, and who recorded those ideals for future generations in our great documents.
In addition, Americanism is the spirit of the pioneers who came to the American wilderness in search of something they could not find at home. They found it here.
Perhaps most of all — most importantly of all -- most uniquely of all, Americanism has always been at its heart a philosophy of persuasion.
While faraway tyrannies governed through mandate, through aristocratic prerogative and the suppression of freedom, America was founded on the principle of minimal government. Such a government must by its very nature govern largely by persuasion, and through leadership.
But like any system that dispenses power or leaves people free to pursue their own self-interests, Americanism is corruptible. While there is no Constitutional basis for hate, it has always been with us; though the Bill of Rights provides no cover for corruption, it thrives; despite the Founders' warnings about special interests, they rule us. And in defiance of the ideal of small and benevolent government, it hovers over us.
However, if you feel that the original concept of Americanism is tarnished by the many human endeavors in its name that don't abide Washington's example of morality or Jefferson's idea of equality and freedom, then you are forgetting that men are only created equal, not perfect. To condemn a mighty concept for the subsequent acts of imperfect men would mean to reject every good idea that has ever been put into practice in the history of mankind.
Instead we need to uncover those original
ideals of Americanism, dust them off, and get them back into
everyday life and government.
In order to accomplish this, we must be able to define those roots, and understand how they should affect America in the twenty-first century.
We must build a consensus not only that we have found the true Foundations of our culture, but that their re-application does, in fact, offer the cure for what ails our country today.
As a nation built on a carefully-crafted and unique Constitution, legally amended, we must further insure that the Foundations we have uncovered are true to that document and its concepts, and do not seek to rewrite it or draw from it whimsical interpretations.
We must also insure that our Foundations are true to the unwritten traditions and assumptions upon which the Founding Fathers presumed their Constitution to stand, and which would provide the mutual respect necessary to build one nation.
When we have done this — a task requiring much discussion and debate — we must bring ourselves to become involved in such political processes as are necessary to insure that our leadership, of whatever party or persuasion, accept in their hearts the same Foundations, and have the courage of their convictions.
Our aim, therefore, will be to publish and refine what we consider to be the Foundations of our nation and culture — of Americanism — and to generate the debate necessary to insure that these Foundations meet the criteria set out above.
Our editorials and commentaries, our positions on today's hot topics, and our choice of linked content, are intended to stir this debate and force us to look at these issues, not from the perspective of narrow personal interest, but from the wider, more immutable perspective of our nation's Foundations.
Our Library provides full-text documents pertinent to our undertaking, appropriately interlinked, so that the visitor can, if he or she wishes, evaluate and opine on the relationship between points made and the documents that support or oppose them.
From this debate we hope to create not only an urge but the needed hope in the ordinary American that our system can be made to change for the better, that we can again be proud of our leadership and our system of governance.
Ultimately, we must get involved. We must each vote and vote on principle. We must tell our leadership why we will or will not keep them in office. We must demand that they tell us what they stand for, and then stand for it.
In short, we
must first have the courage of our convictions. We hope our
discussions together will give us that courage.
There is no hidden politician, no un-named lobby behind our site. Not even any professional writers.
Just ordinary folks who think we have all become very confused about what this great nation was once about, and ought to be rediscovering it.
As editors, we present our concept of our country's original freedoms and expectations for your consideration, in the hopes that you will join us in active debate over the issues.
All non-bylined articles, commentary and historical perspective appearing on this site are written by us, and represent the site's views.
But our real editors will be our visitors. Your help in sharpening our guiding principles, our positions, our arguments ... will enrich our site and help bring meaning and depth.
It will also help us all in rediscovering
the path to old-fashioned, uncomplicated freedom and respect in
How Our Site Works
We welcome full-length article submissions of good caliber for our Home Page (see our Submission Guidelines).
Letters and articles that contain unacceptable language, wild claims or crude responses to other writers, regrettably cannot be considered for use. We hope to foster serious discussion and respect for all reasoned opinions, not to mirror daytime television.
To send us your opinion on a position or an article, you need only click on the appropriate subject's "Send Comment" link at the bottom of the position or article. You can also visit the Visitor Mail Center page directly from any page by selecting a Topic and joining the discussion.
Naturally, all original material on this
site, as well as all formatting, is copyrighted and may not be
copied for commercial purposes without the specific authorization of
the site editors, who can be reached through the site mail link.
Site Page Guide
Americana Quiz: Test what you know about our country's history, foundations and traditions. Our quickie quiz will throw random questions at you on a selected or random subject.
Article/Headline Archives: All past articles reside forever in these searchable archives. There are separate archives for editorials (produced by our editors for the site), and opinion pieces, headlines, Supreme Court news and in-depth articles linked from elsewhere.
Document Library: Our growing library contains full-text versions of various documents of historical, human or heroic interest. We try to link them as widely as practical in the various articles and pages, so that they make convenient references.
E-mail Congress: Use this link to write to your Senators and Representatives. Where it appears on a specific page, the link will suggest a subject.
Foundations of Americanism: The core of what we believe … that beneath all the haggling over issues, there should lie a bedrock of immutable principle founded on the original ideals of Americanism. Here is our offering.
Home Page: As usual on the Web, this is the page you arrive at when you enter our URL. You can get anywhere on our site starting at the Home Page.
Join the Site: This page offers you the opportunity to join our site, and explains what that means. Try it.
Know Your Stuff: Simple lists of stuff that we all oughta' know about our country and our history. If you think you know it, then take the Quiz!
Mail Archives: Check out letters to the editors (and to each other) by subject.
Search The Site: From this page the visitor can search our site for key words contained in documents, positions, quotations, etc., and link to the citations found. Search links also appear on other key pages.
Submission Guidelines: If you'd like to send us a front-page article, or just would like to try your hand at rewriting one of our many position statements, please visit this page to review our guidelines. They're not tough. But proper submissions stand the best chance of being used on the site.
Supreme Court Archives: Contains links to synopses of the most important Supreme Court decisions dealing with our issues. Fully searchable.
Take Action!: It's not enough just to agree that there should be firm principles in life. We present here our evolving list of what-to-do-about-it.
Today In History: Displays important historical events, usually involving America or Americans, for today or any day you choose using the buttons on the page. You can also search history by topic or keyword. We have done our best to supply write-ups on various events to make this page especially interesting, but this library will grow as time progresses.
There are also a variety of pages, such as the article display page, which are intended to be accessible only from other pages. Depending upon the link you used to gain access to our site, you may have arrived at one of these indirect pages. No sweat.