What it means to be an American

Posted by Isaac G. Arizona
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People should be able to choose how they live their lives

 Being an American means supporting the idea that people should be able to live a life that makes them happy. You can even see this idea of individual freedom in the US Bill of Rights. The Amendments not only support the idea of freedom for people to choose how they live but protects that right as well. For example the first Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise...or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…” as well as the second Amendment states, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall no be infringed.” Both these prevent anyone taking away the rights of people. Our nation was made on the basis that everyone has the right of freedom and is linked to the idea that people are able to be who they want to be. Allowing others to live a life that makes them happy is important to being an American.

However this idea that America is the land of the free is why more and more people have felt there has been a collapse of American identity. As the Op-Ed, “The Collapse of American Identity” by Robert P. Jones puts it, “...recent survey data provides troubling evidence that a shared sense of national identity is unraveling, with two mutually exclusive narratives emerging along party lines. At the heart of this divide are opposing reactions to changing demographics and culture.” The reason that a change in culture is creating a collapse is due to the political parties’ current beliefs linking to issues that raises questions about freedom. You can see this in the debate about gun control, immigration, and abortion. People feel how we tackle these issues will affect their personal life and freedom. For example, the major argument against gun control is that it limits what gun-owners are able to have, infringing on the freedom of those gun-owners. Sure, there is a lot of debate about the freedom of individual but that’s what makes America so great, that people are determined to be able to choose how they want to live.

At the end of the day, my belief about what it means to be an American is being able to live a life that makes yourself happy. However it’s not just that. Being an American is also allowing others to be able to live their life how they please.

Published on Apr 9, 2018
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