Re: What does it mean to be an American?
The difficulty in answering that question lies in the diversity of the american culture. If you look at the roots of the american working class and those that grew out of it for this answer you will find several distinct characteristics.
-A value of family and community
- The belief that you answer to yourself first. That right and wrong are not defined by laws, but by one's on assessment. For this reason, the majority of americans are not concerned with convincing others of the accuracy of thier assessment.
-The belief that you have a morale obligation to protect your family (and neighbors/community) at any cost and that your ability to do that will not be dictated by law
- The unwillingness to follow a leader they do not believe in, even for the greater good, and the unwavering support for a leader they do believe in
-The willingness to accept anyone that also holds these basic guiding principles into thier fold.
It is the combination of these basic principles, for example, that allow America to be both a melting pot and a discriminatory culture.