The only thing that makes us American

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I show this video to my US History 1 students to show how unlikely it was that we even became a nation. But we did. The founders created the first republic in history ruled by the people and for the people to have significant longevity. This short clip summarizes what binds us together as Americans. This is the America I was raised to believe in. This is the America I volunteered to serve in the Navy.

We have never fully lived up to this ideal, but deep down this is what we strove for. We have spent generations cleansing the nation of the forces that oppose our collective vision. It has been a painful journey but worth it in terms of the blessings “of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

The image we portray to ourselves and to the world is not of this idealistic if flawed polity. It is of a xenophobic, bullying, fearful people characterized by bigots, super patriots, and the lunatic right, with a buffoon at its helm, financed by the super wealthy, and encouraged by the enemies of all that the United States used to stand for. We did not abandon the dream because of Donald Trump. We got Donald Trump because we abandoned the dream. And the fault lies in every single person who turns a blind eye to the cabal turning the last best hope of earth into, as the clown in chief would say, a shithole.

Every single one of you. You ought to be ashamed.


Liberty! The American Revolution, Episode 6, PBS Home Video. 1997.