• The term American defined by the dictionary is “Of or relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture” (American Heritage Dictionary). This applies to anything that has the term American in it, such as culture, citizen, property, sport, food, and other numerous items. However, the definition of an American is applied to the citizen. This American is one that is willing to change the government, one that is tolerant of others, and one that remembers, but does not continue the culture of his ancestors. This definition is found in Thomas Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence”, Michel Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer”, and Alex Haley’s “Roots”.

    An American is someone who is willing to change their government. There are numerous ways to bring about a change, with the most extreme being an armed and violent revolution. However, the English colonists during the 18th century decided to take the extreme and experimented with it during the American Revolution. They succeeded, with the help of the French. The French began a violent revolution in the late 18th century. The Russians had the Communist Revolution in the early 20th century. These groups were justified by the works of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson states that any form of government that restricts or abolishes the rights of the people is on grounds of being replaced (Jefferson, 156). In fact, Jefferson states that such an action is the duty of the oppressed citizens to alter or remove the government and install one that they believe to be right (156-157). In addition, the Founding Fathers believed in this very strongly, as they wished that George III of England was not in power. He is the reason why they wanted independence from England. Jefferson’s statements are interpreted in a more peaceful way in today’s modern world through voting. In the modern world, there are two ways to vote. One is with the wallet, and the other is with the ballot. The wallet’s vote carries a much larger burden compared to the ballot votes, because one that controls economics controls the recipient. Government renewal today is focused around these two types of voting. However, it appears that the votes made with the wallet are the only ones that seem to actually make a difference. There are many conspiracies that the past two presidential elections were rigged to allow George W. Bush to win (Kennedy). Considering that after every presidential campaign, the candidates appear to be degrading in terms of possessing the right qualities for leading the most industrialized country in the world. In addition, the number of young voters attending the voting booths declined at the 2004 presidential election (Bergman, 1-4). A theory has been drawn about these voters; they believe that their vote no longer carries any significance. This thought explains the numerous “campaigns” that sprouted up to encourage the young to vote. The most notable of these campaigns was the “Vote or Die” campaign. It was mainly remembered due to it’s rather unusual name, and the celebrities that were behind the campaign. These actions are not in the American’s luggage of strategies. Voting instills the concept of a republican democracy, which is today’s method of replacing in-efficient leaders with the use of terms, which average in less than 5 years.

    An American is tolerant of others. He does not despise or naturally judge anyone without a logical basis to do so. This American does not resort to stereotypes picked up from any source. This American is also humble, judging himself on the same degree he uses on others. According to Crèvecoeur, everyone that is ranked the same has no power over another person (209). Everyone is equally ranked, and contains no special status over another person. Crèvecoeur states that despite all of the differences in race, culture, finances, everyone comes together under one flag and is the same and will cause change together (209). These statements appear to be the first true signs of the beginning of Socialism, and later, Communism. These signs came before the Communist Manifesto was written before Karl Marx. This change is caused with uniform labor and action. The changes will be made for the future generations, ignoring any differences in the other person and acknowledging the fact that they are human beings. Tolerance is an act of a true American. Tolerance is lacking in today’s society, as there is clear evidence that people are becoming more sensitive to each other. They begin to go at each other’s throats due to words. Words are sound waves; they are not actions with intent. Words are tools. Words can be used to persuade, invigorate, sooth, and issue statements. A person can use words to exert an image or aura to sway another person into believing something that is false information.

    Despite the fact that the American may or may not be in his native country, he still remembers the culture of his ancestors. This American does not let this culture consume him or her completely. Instead, this American remembers the culture of the time period that he or she lives in, and remembers the culture of his or her ancestors. This American only practices the ancient culture in private, not in public. According to Haley, an American should use the culture of their ancestors as a symbol for memories of the past (217). The culture of his or her ancestors can be in the form of a picture, book, photo album, movie, music, or even clothes. These items can be used as a symbol of remembrance. They can also be used to envision the specific person’s ancestor, just as Haley had done (216). Remembering the people before him or her, the American envisions what his or her ancestors would have been like. They would imagine their personality, their values, their way of life, their occupation, their food, their home, their community, their religion, or even the way they spoke. Unless a family has been around for multiple generations, accents stick. This is a way of determining how young or old a current family is.

    Freedom and security are two hot topics in today’s society. Due to events that began the “War on Terror”, either one of these two extremely important concepts has to be nullified in order to bring the other into a temporary spotlight. However, according Benjamin Franklin, someone that sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither. Therefore, the number one topic that sacrifices freedom for security is the concept of political correctness. Two key symbols of this concept are the use of “Happy Holidays” and the Patriot Act. The true American would not agree with either one of these, and would be on full alert. The use of “Happy Holidays” is mainly done by businesses, to ensure that they do not miss a minority during the Christmas shopping season. However, Hanukkah occurs two weeks before Christmas, and Kwanzaa occurs the day after Christmas. In addition, Christians are a majority, with 33.1% of the world being Christians (Encyclopedia Britannica). Muslims are 20.28% of the world, coming in second place. It is impossible to please everyone without looking very ignorant. The Patriot Act occurred to “Search for terrorists.” Instead, it sacrifices freedom by removing habeas corpus and allows any law enforcement agency to tap into phone conversations on any tip of terrorism. This is an obvious violation of freedom. The true American should and would be petrified against the Patriot Act.

    Despite all of the evidence presented, there will always be someone presenting a counterargument. A person may suggest that the modern day American will not have to be tolerant and humble, because the United States is the most powerful nation in the world. This implies that the modern American is allowed to be an arm-chair judge, sitting and judging every action just because it is not their own. The term arm-chair was originally coined on the Internet, and it was coined in the term “arm-chair politician.” An arm-chair politician is a person that is expressing his or her view on politics, without using any facts. The meaning behind the use of arm-chair is to signify the in-experience of the individual. The same person may argue that the modern American is racist despite the lack of racist behavior. The true American will not use racism with religion or law as a foundation. Slavery (which is tied to racism) was attempted to be justified during the early colonial period when whites claimed to be giving the slaves a home and better conditions that they had before, and they were treating them nicely. The statements were later proven false.

    The true American is a libertarian in a nutshell. Libertarians are those that believe in the works of the Enlightenment. Libertarians share the same views as the Founding Fathers of the United States. Libertarians believe in as much personal liberty as possible. Libertarianism was claimed to be founded by Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers. Libertarianism is essentially the heart and soul of the true American. The Founding Fathers believed in having a small government in order to prevent the tyranny that they had faced with George III of England when the United States were still colonies of England. The true American is willing to reform government, be tolerant of others, and remembers the culture of his or her ancestors. The true American is slowly dwindling in terms of population. The true American is the foundation of the United States of America. The true American is the key beacon for liberty. Freedom is the true American’s number one concern, and it should be for the United States.