I sometimes think about what it means to be an American. What it means to say that I love my country. Or that someone is destroying it.
I think that I’ve come to the conclusion that being American means something different than merely being a member of the tribe that lives in this land mass. It means that you have embraced an ideal.
It means that you accept that individual liberty reigns supreme and is the ultimate sovereign. The individual citizen is not ward of the state, rather, the state is subservient to the individual. No other place on earth, in the history of the earth, has struck such an understanding, such a vision and a way of life as we have done.
We love our land, our mountains and rivers and valleys. The towns and the roads. The “things” in America. We love ’em all. But the fact is that you could transport all current Americans to Europe. And all Europeans to America. Nothing would change. The Europeans would be no more American than they were.
Think of this, no where else in the world can a man born in a foreign country move to another country and “become” one of them. I was born in Minnesota. I could move to Japan. I would never BE Japanese. Or German. Or Nigerian.
Only here can you BE American. If only you buy into the ideal that is America. Through hard work, personal sacrifice and dedication to an ideal, anyone can become an American.
We throw our arms open to all.
So when we say that someone wants to destroy America. Or change America. Or hates America. We don’t mean that he doesn’t care for the people, the land or the lives of the citizens. It’s that he hates what America IS. And what it IS is a mindset that differentiates us from all of the world. It is an attitude that I am responsible for myself. Responsible for myself but charitable to my brother.
THAT is what we mean when we say that people hate America.