Being an American

Being an American

This is a discussion on Being an American within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I figured this might be the place for this: Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907. "In the first place, we ...

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Thread: Being an American

  1. #1
    Member Array cougartxn's Avatar
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    Post Being an American

    I figured this might be the place for this:

    Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

    "In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

    Theodore Roosevelt 1907
    "Never turn your back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!"
    -- Winston Churchill


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    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    I have been saying for years that hypenated Americans are bad for both American and the person. Looks like Teddy and I are on the same track.
    DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.

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    Member Array Blinky's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll bite...

    Where do I find the official definition of an American?

    Is there a single agreed-upon definition?

    What constitutes English? Grammar, vocabulary, accents?

    Is being an American something more than just the belief in the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
    Blinky

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    "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it
    would be reasonable to shoot back with your own
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    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    Why is it that we are the only ones that have a problem defining being an American? Loyalty to a country that more people are trying to enter then any other country in the world is frowned upon. Becoming part of of a country is more then making a living, it's a system of values. Not mine per se, but those put forth in the constitution. English is a language as real and definable as Russian, Spanish, or German. This country is one of the few that we can travel from shore to shore and be able to converse in one basic dialect. Not so in Russia, Mexico and numerous other places.

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    Member Array Blinky's Avatar
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    For the most part that is true. I was a linguist in the Army (Russian, Serbian, Croatian). Yes, there are different dialects.

    I too believe that it is a system of values that should define an American. However, I wonder if that is absolutely true these days.

    Perception is reality in most people's minds.

    We originally established a government for the people, by the people. I don't know that I believe this is still the case. I think Americans have let the government get too large. I think too many people are apathetic and do not take part in the governing of the nation.

    I believe we've become a nation of Democrats and Republicans first and Americans second.

    How much of being an American can fit into a box?
    Blinky

    _______________________________________________
    "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it
    would be reasonable to shoot back with your own
    gun."
    Dalai Lama - May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times
    _______________________________________________

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    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    Blinky, Unfortunately I have to agree with you. I almost feel like I was born several years to late. We have become apathetic and unconcerned and that means only a few people really do anything. We tend to look only at what is good for us and not what is good for the country. We are extremely fragmented. I don't have the answer, just a lot of questions. the older I get the less I seem to know.

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blinky
    How much of being an American can fit into a box?
    Actually, most of it:

    1)English. "American", The King's", or "Pidgeon"- it's what you speak.
    2)You benefit because of your hard work and seeking personal development. You don't work to put food in someone else's mouth so they are able to watch Oprah all day and make more little societal dysfunctionaries.
    3)You recognize morality. You may not burn down the porno shop, the bar and the American Athesits' office, but you recognize that without Right and Wrong (and pretty definite standards of each) anything goes- the Strong will feed on the Weak.
    5)Right or wrong, you support your country. You square the deal up with the representatives at the poll.
    6)Our flag over our soil. No other. Anything else is (by definition of action) a declaration of war.
    7)Freedom requires self-sacrifice and dedication. No one owes you anything but the chance to make the best of your situation. If you break the law, you forfeit that.
    8)Citizenship is a right fulfilled by the standards of your life. It does not come with being able to drag a diseased, consuming carcass across a border.

    Are you Men, or Animals? If Men, stand up bear the responsibility of Men. Babes suckle, and Animals prey on the weak.

    The standards of conduct in our nation were cannonized and won by roughly 1% of the population at the time. Mouth-breathing anti-paths will always be dragging along("I'm a --American"-take your pick, "A sexual relationship with a child is a beautiful thing, and teaches them about true love...."-NAMBLA, "I'm not a "legal", but I have Rights!"- "Small Business Owner" on NPR in CA, last week).

    The most flagrant chant:
    "La Raza, La Reconquista, Viciente!"
    Sounds much like "Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Fuerher!", at least on NPR's sound bites......

    Yes, our governmant is too large, and does not work in our interests. Now would be a good time to take a stand to regain our hold on it. If we don't, we'd better like travelling naked, starving, and in freight cars....... 90% of the world's rulers hate us for who we (The People)are.

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    Senior Member Array czman2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blinky
    Ok, I'll bite...

    Where do I find the official definition of an American?
    For me, I find the official definition of an American at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Da Nang, Kuwait and it's being written today in Afganistan and Iraq.
    "Let not your heart be troubled." John 14:1

    USN Retired Vietnam/Desert Shield/Desert Storm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72

    Actually, most of it:

    1)English. "American", The King's", or "Pidgeon"- it's what you speak.
    2)You benefit because of your hard work and seeking personal development. You don't work to put food in someone else's mouth so they are able to watch Oprah all day and make more little societal dysfunctionaries.
    3)You recognize morality. You may not burn down the porno shop, the bar and the American Athesits' office, but you recognize that without Right and Wrong (and pretty definite standards of each) anything goes- the Strong will feed on the Weak.
    5)Right or wrong, you support your country. You square the deal up with the representatives at the poll.
    6)Our flag over our soil. No other. Anything else is (by definition of action) a declaration of war.
    7)Freedom requires self-sacrifice and dedication. No one owes you anything but the chance to make the best of your situation. If you break the law, you forfeit that.
    8)Citizenship is a right fulfilled by the standards of your life. It does not come with being able to drag a diseased, consuming carcass across a border.

    Are you Men, or Animals? If Men, stand up bear the responsibility of Men. Babes suckle, and Animals prey on the weak.

    The standards of conduct in our nation were cannonized and won by roughly 1% of the population at the time. Mouth-breathing anti-paths will always be dragging along("I'm a --American"-take your pick, "A sexual relationship with a child is a beautiful thing, and teaches them about true love...."-NAMBLA, "I'm not a "legal", but I have Rights!"- "Small Business Owner" on NPR in CA, last week).

    The most flagrant chant:
    "La Raza, La Reconquista, Viciente!"
    Sounds much like "Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Fuerher!", at least on NPR's sound bites......

    Yes, our governmant is too large, and does not work in our interests. Now would be a good time to take a stand to regain our hold on it. If we don't, we'd better like travelling naked, starving, and in freight cars....... 90% of the world's rulers hate us for who we (The People)are.
    Rob72: Great post - you said it well.



    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

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    Member Array Kimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by czman2006
    For me, I find the official definition of an American at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Da Nang, Kuwait and it's being written today in Afganistan and Iraq.
    I know what I am and that all I need to know, I am an American.
    And I'm extremely proud of it.
    And czman.... Home run sir.
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    Member Array Blinky's Avatar
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    First, I want to say that I am proud to be an American, but that pride is based on my definition, which is not always going to match your definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72
    Actually, most of it:

    1)English. "American", The King's", or "Pidgeon"- it's what you speak.
    Language doesn't make you American. Other countries speak English, they're not American. The language one speaks does not necessarily rule out that they do not have the same values or want to contribute less.

    Personally, I feel citizenship should require a base level of English and I feel too much is catered to non-speakers that is costing the government (local and state mostly) much.

    2)You benefit because of your hard work and seeking personal development. You don't work to put food in someone else's mouth so they are able to watch Oprah all day and make more little societal dysfunctionaries.
    I know a number of people that feel this way, yet, they are not citizens, nor are they illegal. Are they American?

    3)You recognize morality. You may not burn down the porno shop, the bar and the American Athesits' office, but you recognize that without Right and Wrong (and pretty definite standards of each) anything goes- the Strong will feed on the Weak.
    Again, this is not unique to America? And doesn't the strong feed on the weak everywhere?

    5)Right or wrong, you support your country. You square the deal up with the representatives at the poll.
    I think your wording here is right on. You support your country. You do not necessarily have to support the administration. You should support the government model and work to make it better. Unfortunately, many people cannot see this, and assume a lack of support for administration is a lack of support for the country. Nothing can be further from the truth.

    6)Our flag over our soil. No other. Anything else is (by definition of action) a declaration of war.
    Which flag is flying now? Does the American flag truly represent the nation we have or the nation we once were. I could easily see the multi-corporate flag of the U.S. being flown one day, if we're not careful.

    7)Freedom requires self-sacrifice and dedication. No one owes you anything but the chance to make the best of your situation. If you break the law, you forfeit that.
    Agreed wholeheartedly. Freedom is not something one sacrifices for selfishly, must does on behalf of his/her peers as well.

    8)Citizenship is a right fulfilled by the standards of your life. It does not come with being able to drag a diseased, consuming carcass across a border.
    Agreed here too. I'm not against people coming to America to PARTICIPATE in the freedoms and rights we enjoy. But it has to be a participation. I've met people who were born here that have citizenship, but have no values to speak of and wallow in morale depravity. Is citizenship their birthright? Hmmm...
    Blinky

    _______________________________________________
    "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it
    would be reasonable to shoot back with your own
    gun."
    Dalai Lama - May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times
    _______________________________________________

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    Member Array Blinky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by czman2006
    For me, I find the official definition of an American at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Da Nang, Kuwait and it's being written today in Afganistan and Iraq.
    Yes. Sacrificing your rights and freedoms to serve in the American military is indeed very honorable. To go forth and perform your duty that you've sworn to do, regardless of your belief in the correctness of the reasons for being there, is a rare and valuable trait these days.

    Soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines definitely stand the test.

    But does this make anyone else less American?
    Blinky

    _______________________________________________
    "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it
    would be reasonable to shoot back with your own
    gun."
    Dalai Lama - May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times
    _______________________________________________

  13. #13
    Member Array cougartxn's Avatar
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    I've enjoyed reading all your thoughts on this. I knew this would generate some good posts. Thanks guys.
    "Never turn your back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!"
    -- Winston Churchill

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    Senior Member Array ssssthesnake's Avatar
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    Have to agree with the definition rob posted and also cz what i think most animals in our country tend to for get its not just something that you are defined by geography being an american isnt a title its a responsabilaty think that most people in this country just want to live in there own narow scope with out taking any of the resposabilaty or carry any of the burden and if you are willing then your a gun toting fanatic if you rise up to insure that the belifes of our for fathers are up held to the letter then you are a terorist if you speak out aginst the majority of liberalminded then your not politacly corect.

    My thoughts are that the only thing benifiting from our racial discord is the over sized totalitarian ambitious government the devision of the american people is the greatest weapon that the freedom grabing government has at its disposal i often wounder when we as a people will make it clear that we are not going to stand for this but holy wood makes it so popular to be a (politicaly corect) or complacent find that those complaning about unfair treatment are those that do the least to quote on of the greates lines i ever heard in a movie.

    You cant stand on your porch bithin while eating a chicken wing drinking a forty ouncer you have to take action you cant come to this country and still hold that you are any thing but an american im irish and indian but i never refer to my sel as an irish american because im an american if you want the benifits of living in the greates country on the planet the shut up pull your waight stop complaing that is unfair cause your brown or yellow or red thats not where the unfairness lye its unfair to every legitamet middal class blue colar working class person for we all see every day in the media that if your a crimanl or lazy or a drain on socity you have all you rights protected while the working class watches there rights go hopping down the drain.

    Sorry if this offends any one wasnt my intent im a 5th gen marine and i take my resposabilaty to my country to heart so to claim that you ar any race/american is fundaminaly wrong. Thanks for listning to my rant P.S. the movie was bullsworth

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    Senior Member Array czman2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blinky
    Yes. Sacrificing your rights and freedoms to serve in the American military is indeed very honorable. To go forth and perform your duty that you've sworn to do, regardless of your belief in the correctness of the reasons for being there, is a rare and valuable trait these days.

    Soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines definitely stand the test.

    But does this make anyone else less American?
    Of course not and that was not the intent of my post. You can be an American and never serve in the military. It's the noble spirit of our country I was referring to; the willingness to fight for what is right, to protect your family and your country. I did 20 years in the USN and don't think I sacrificed any rights or freedoms doing so, no more than being told by the state I must wear a seat belt while driving is sacrificing a right. In any military action, there will be honest Americans who will not agree with the correctness of being there. They are entitled to their opinion. And look at all the hard work still being done in Katrina affected areas by many different groups, honest Americans all who just want to help others. That's another aspect of being an American, a willingness to help others simply because they need it. I doubt we could list all of the things that makes someone an American. Maybe the picture American is a combination of John Wayne, Don Knotts, and that person down the street we see every day but never speak to. Whatever the definition, I'm proud that America includes the type of people on this site.
    "Let not your heart be troubled." John 14:1

    USN Retired Vietnam/Desert Shield/Desert Storm

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