Tom Freston: What forces have shaped America most?

We're all immigrants.
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Question: What forces that have shaped America most?

Tom Freston: Well I think immigration. Of course we’re all immigrants here. The idea that there was a lot of space here. I mean that’s an old story. People believe that, where people could expand. Then America was this new country. It was this new land, and it had this new form of government. And the idea of America is a really great idea; and I think, you know, it was an idea that until very recently had been held in very high esteem by a lot of people in the world. I mean the Declaration of Independence – what a fantastic document; that mankind was gonna sort of take control of his destiny in this new form of government. And then the waves of immigration that have arrived here at our shore and allowed us to create, you know, sort of this non-hierarchical society where you have, you know . . . people can come out of nowhere and invent or innovate something and become, you know, whether that be themselves or some product or service and have a large impact positively on the rest of us. It’s a freer, opener . . . more open place because of forces like that.

Recorded On: 7/6/07