What It Means To Be American

Submitted By farmhanddunc
Words: 604
Pages: 3

Duncan Terry
Soph. Writing
Webster defines the word American as “a native or citizen of the United States”. So by dictionary definition: to be American is just to inhabit the United States. I would bet my bottom dollar that not a soul that reads this believes that’s all it means to be American. So what does it mean? I polled my eight o’clock class to think what they thought it was to be American. As I expected the cliché “to be free” was the answer most gave. To be free to do what? The best answer for that is to look at our Constitution and Bill of Rights. These documents gave all those who called America home the right to speak freely without persecution, arm and protect yourself, and practice your religion just to name a few. This idea of freedom and liberty was insane for its day, suicidal some said, but for years our nation has thrived. We even waged war against our own brothers to ensure that all in this country were free and equal. We were as my grandfather always said, AmeriCANS! We revolutionized every aspect of society and our world. Brave men and women fought and died for the freedom we possess today.
Hundreds upon hundreds of thousands migrated every year to America to start a better life and succeed. Those immigrants braved unthinkable hardships just to call themselves Americans. That says something.
So what the hell happened? Being American used to mean being free to work hard and succeed and nobody could stop you from working your way to fortune. Americans possessed liberties and rights that made it possible to be successful.
I argue that being American is much different now. Instead of being a nation of hard workers I believe we are becoming a nation of brats. We demand money, healthcare, and luxuries as if we deserve them for just breathing. Americans want to take and take and take without working. Today’s “American” no longer works his/her butt off to succeed, but rather sits back and expects it to be given to them.
Today’s Americans have voided our constitutional rights. People have basically eliminated freedom of speech through political correctness. A person can no longer say what they feel for fear of a law suit being filled against them because