E Pluribus Unum

The expression from our one dollar bill means out of many, one.   It has been our heritage for two centuries based upon our common Judeo-Christian traditions and outlook on and for a society.   Diversity came from Europe for the overwhelming majority of that time frame.  The diversity was mixing and blending together the different ethnic background, languages and customs of Europeans.   By the mid 19th century almost all of Europe had a form of democracy and the franchise to vote in some degree.   Even though the German immigrant had a different language and customs than his counterpart from Sweden they did share many common interests and goals due to the basic belief in opportunity and Christian tenets for social conduct.   They came here with a belief in democracy and a very strong belief in the rights of property and business opportunity.   Likewise this was true of the Englishman and the Italian who came to our shores for so many years.   We had a European outlook about all that was important.   Even into the 20th century that pattern of integration of all our newcomers was consistent and that melding was eased by those common cultural underpinings.    When socialists or anarchists came to our shores in the late 19th and early 20th century their radical ideas never found purchase here because those concepts they advocated were beyond the pale of most of those here.   Their view of our culture was not the one most wanted.   We wanted to have maximum freedom and maximum opportunity and the idea that a centrally controlled entity would  dominate all thought and action was contrary to the very concept of individual freedom and opportunity to succeed or fail on our own sweat and effort.  

So out of the many came the one but the many had some very fundamental beliefs that they could all rally round.   If the early days of our Republic had seen a huge influx of Muslims  to our shores in the early 19th century do you believe that melding of an American personality would have been possible?  Be realistic.   The divergence in outlook on life, family and societal structure is huge and there would not have been one out of the many but rather an area like the Balkans.  You do recall the conflicts and wars in that region within the last 15 years.   What do you think was the underlying cause of those wars and conflicts?    That region has had ongoing  wars and disputes between those clashing cultures for literally centuries.   Even after so many decades of enforced intergration by Tito and the state of Yugoslavia where cultural differences were subsumed by the all encompassing power of the central state those differences bubbled up immediately after the collapse of the Tito regime.   Where do you think  the phrase Balkanization came from?   There are lessons to be learned there.   We need to be very realistic about how much diversity we can absorb and digest without rending the fabric of that American culture we all cherish so much.  Indeed the existence of the nation itself could be at risk.

A dash of this and that is good for the stew no doubt from time to time but don’t  forget the base ingredients that give the stew its motif.   Mulligan stew is what  you eat when you are desparate not what you choose like a fine boullebaise.  

We changed our policies radically under the Democrats and Johnson 40 years ago and we are paying the price now with more division and discord than we have faced in our history.   Too many voices are shouting for outlooks that aren’t tradionally American and that will inevitably cause a pushback or even worse.  I do worry for our future some unless we can maintain and nurture those quintessential qualities that have been recognized as American for decades and that have served us so well.    We are not a Muslim nation or an Eastern nation but European based.  Nor have we ever been a banana republic so far.   If we stray too far from our core cultural heritage we invite severe disharmony in our society.   Just as oil and water don’t mix (they can exist side by side, but not together) some cultures survive best with separation between them and can have harmonious relations.  I don’t think very many American women would want to live under the conditions in any Arab country and American men generally would rebel also against being told what they had to believe by an Iman or face villification or worse from the community.  We need to think about our future very carefully.  We are not the United Nations but the USA.    It is for the younger generation to decide these matters and I hope they will give serious and careful thought to the possible fragmentation of our nation.   Don’t glibly say it couldn’t happen here.   You are smarter than that.   Why do you choose a particular church, neighborhood to live in, your school for your children, your doctor, your friends?   Be honest and then apply those bases for choosing to the nation as a whole.

Two countries paid off their debts to the US for WWI.  Finland and Great Britain.  You might be interested to know that Britain paid its final amount in 2005.

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Filed under Culture, history, Politics

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