Spilling the Melting Pot
The Balkanization of America’s population into sets and groups broken along political, gender, racial, ethnic and religious fault lines is having an insidious but predictable affect on our country’s functionality and national character.
E pluribus unum, the founders set as the nation’s target: “From many, one.”
Societal pressure, now deactivated by political correctness and moral relativism , no longer binds new immigrant arrivals to conformity with a single societal standard of language and culture. Rather, the balance has swung perilously close to establishing guarded enclaves that seek to recreate and preserve within America the very societies previously abandoned and fled.
These, hiding behind nation-of-origin pride, religious affinity or language, have driven the norm of assimilation to life support.
What we have gained is weak beer in place of unity and strength. Division is a blight on the body politic. It is a debilitating and contagious illness spread from one community to another by the desire to avoid offending those with whom we share our nation’s real estate, communities and neighborhoods.
The forces working against national pride in America would seemingly substitute nostalgia and homesickness clothed in aggression towards outsiders for the welcoming embrace enjoyed by our prior huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.
We live, as a result, in self-imposed ghettos clothed in an atmosphere of fear. We live in angst of what others might say about us. We collectively have become afraid to say or do the wrong thing, and thus do nothing to heal our rifts and create fellowship. We have traded our self-identified and collective strength for weakness and hollowed out the moral core of our country.
One need not give up their pride in their origin to become fully actualized as an American, but one must make assimilation — language and culture — a priority held above preservation of tradition.
What one gains is far more than what one may lose. America is by any measure an exclusive club. It is not open to all, despite claims to the contrary. It requires dedication, work and effort to seize the gold ring of citizenship and become an American.
Citizenship and assimilation means the society has your back, that you are part of a greater whole and that — yes — you have nationalistic pride in your shared country. It still means that you may retain and pride in your past and ethnic culture, along with exercising your other rights and privileges as an American.
Trading all that to retain membership in a subset of our society and seeking to maintain one’s prior status is not a virtue, it is a character deficit that raises questions about the holder’s understanding of America and its founding principles.
We — each of us — are welcome to weave ourselves into the American fabric, but one will find no glory to be gained by seeking a path to separate ourselves from the American mainstream in favor of building fortifications around our our own clique.