What Makes a Great American? Essay 2

US Flag, backlit; photo by jnn13

Note from Steve: This is an essay submission for Steve’s Great American Essay Challenge. These will run nightly for as long as there are submissions. Submit your own to earn a TNB coffee mug and maybe even more.

The essays will remain anonymous until the end of the challenge. Please do not claim this essay until we are ready for that reveal.

What is a great American?

Who is a great American? Boy, that concept has been thrown around a lot lately. But I suspect that term is little understood by many these days. Our nation is made up of a hodge-podge of peoples, whether they be black or white, rich or poor, educated or not.

What our country HAS become is a form of tribalism, with our side against their side, our party against the enemy, what we can get compared to what we can take away from the other side. That is the furthest from a great American that I can think of, and yet the majority of people fall in that category.

We should understand the problems our neighbors all across this nation face without thinking it’s not our problem. Whether it is a hurricane in New Orleans, wild fires in the western states, or a wind shear storm like I just experienced last week. In all these instances, people have come together to help each other out, even if they do not know them or personally profit from their actions. This is what I consider a great American. One who puts petty differences aside to come together, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all – emphasizing the word all, with no exclusions.

If we could understand that simple concept, we would all be great Americans.

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