Sunday, August 4, 2019

USA not a nation

Allen Mendenhall explains why the United States is not a nation.

"[T]he United States is not, and has never been, a nation. The founding generation referred to the United States as a plural noun (i.e., “these United States”) because several sovereigns fell under that designation. St. George Tucker called the United States a “federal compact” consisting of “several sovereign and independent states.” If his view seems unrecognizable today, it is because nationalism within the United States is dying or dead—and the United States killed it.

The United States of America in the singular is a country, not a nation. It contains nations within it, but does not itself constitute a nation. Nations involve solidarity among people who share a common culture, language, customs, mores, ethnicity, and history. A country, by contrast, involves political arrangements and governmental territories and boundaries.

From its inception, the United States has been characterized by faction and sectionalism, cultural clashes, and competing narratives — between Indian tribes in what is now Florida and California, Wyoming and Maine, Georgia and Michigan; between the British and French and Spanish and Dutch; between Protestants and Catholics and English Dissenters and nonconformists and splintering denominations; between the Calvinism of Cotton Mather and the Enlightenment rationalism that influenced Franklin and Jefferson. The United States has experienced, as well, numerous separatist movements, including, most notably, the secession of the states that made up the Confederate States of America.

The United States is not a nation."

Read the whole thing.

It brings me comfort to know that we are NOT -- and never have been -- "one nation under God indivisible." Uttering that phrase was, at best, an expression of hope and, at worst, a lie: a vain attempt to suppress the painful reality of cognitive dissonance. We are no more "one nation" today than black is white, gay is straight, rich is poor, Democrat is Republican, or pro-life is pro-choice.

America began as a collection of free and independent states -- many "nations -- federally united NOT to abolish their differences, but to provide for their common defense and promote their general welfare.

Initially, "diversity" was our strength! A people united by common language, law, customs, culture, traditions, history, values, DNA, and religion is a nation indeed!

But what are "Americans" today? Because we are "everybody," we are "nobody."

America's breakup is as certain as its unity was fiction.

It's time for Americans to return to being "somebody" again.

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