What Does it Mean to be an American EssayAustin TaylorHonors English 11Ms. RauschNovember 22, 2017″I look to a great future for america- a future in which our country will match its military strength with our mora1 restraint, its wealth with our wisdom and its power with our purpose”(Kennedy, 1961) . Kennedy’s expectations on what he wants America to become.
Focused on the hope that every single person should have their own individual rights and the same chance to succeed as every other person. Being an American means that you are free to speak your mind, say the Pledge of Allegiance, and to vote for my government and state leaders.Many People describe being an American as living the American dream however, this term has changed drastically over the last couple hundred years.
At first, the American dream meant that you are able to come to this country to be free through the ability to work very hard and as a result, make a great life for yourself. Now, the American dream is a lot more complicated than that. The systems are very complex. It is hard to make it to the top and make a life for yourself if you do not know someone. Our complex government is ruining this country with too much control. Powerful politicians are running this country by covering up their mistakes, getting rich off of the struggles of this country, and wrongfully accusing people lower than them just so that they don’t get caught.
In the quote (Tim Allen, 2012)”Men are liars. We’ll lie about lying if we have too.” explains how easy it is for men to lie.
So, my question is how free are we really? What power do we really have as citizens? For example, teachers in classrooms are unable to express their political or religious beliefs in classrooms which is technically breaking their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. I agree that teachers should not express their political and religious beliefs, but technically they should be able too. Another way we are not really is that we have to pay taxes, as well as we can be charged for things we do. These things are technically things that make us not free.
We also have more laws than any other country. This is not what our founders wanted our country to become. Our government has grown 200 times in size in just the 20th century. (Thought Co., Mar 27, 2017)The definition of freedom is- “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
“(Dictionary.com, 2017). We are able to have freedoms in this country that most other countries do not. We are able to speak out against what we think is wrong in society and in our government without having to worry about repercussions. We are able to kneel for the National Anthem if we feel the need.
We have the power to believe in any religion that we choose,and we are able to vote for the leader who we feel that is most fit to lead this country. We have the freedom to an education. In places like Nepal, Cambodia, and Afghanistan, girls are not allowed to attend school simply because they were born female. Here, women can receive an equal education right alongside men, and even have the opportunity to become more successful than men. We can marry who we want, regardless of age, race, religion, etc. In many countries across the world, girls at young ages are forced to marry, often providing a profit to their families.
All of these examples are freedoms that we have just for being born here. Thousands of people work each year to come into this country and enjoy the same rights as we do. It takes these people up to 20 years to become a citizen (United states immigration services, 2017). It takes this long to get through all of the intense tests and certain knowledge must me maintained about america. These people do this for their future, they are tired of their countries not giving them certain rights. They come to this country to be able to actually have a say in what they want. They can now vote every 4 years, they can speak out without being tortured or killed and they and make a better life for themselves and for their families.
Another Misconception of being an american is the lack of help for our veterans in our society. They come back from fighting for our country and are messed up for the rest of their lives with things like PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) and have no help from our leaders of this country. They give up their personal freedom to fight for our freedom and when they are not helped enough with finding jobs and trying just make it in society. Another struggle that veterans face is trying to cope with injuries that they might have accumulated over the time they were serving, Which can Affect them when they get back. Their are parts of our freedoms that have some problems for example, when you enter a workplace certain freedoms can be messed with. If you are protesting for your job to gain a certain thing you can be fired because the boss doesn’t want to deal with that sort of a thing. You can be. Big companies can also take you for advantage, your hard work can be very underappreciated by the rich bosses who don’t really care.
The hard work in this country is what America was built on and people are learning how to ride the system In order to not have to work hard for what they need. $2.96 billion worth of benefits were paid out in February 2017 (Investopedia, 2017) which is directly impacting our economy.
All of these reasons are part of being an american to me is part of being an american and are all things that i think about and i think all people should think about. In conclusion the definition of an American is not relating to the United States of America or its people, language, or culture. An American is really someone who cherishes their freedom of speech, freedom to fight for their country, and freedom from slavery. An American has the right to speak their mind, which is freedom of speech.
So next time you get asked “what does it mean to be an American?”, think about all of the components of being an american and think are you living the American dream? A. (n.d.). How Long Does the US Citizenship Process Take? Retrieved November 22, 2017,from https://www.
us-immigration.com/us-immigration-news/us-citizenship/how-long-does-the-us-citizenship-process-take/Song, S. (2009). What does it mean to be an american? Retrieved November 16, 2017, from https://www.
amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=744Beam, L. (2015, August 27). An all American Life. Retrieved November 16, 2017, from https://www.anallamericanlife.
com/…/16-quotes-that-illustrate-american-pride.html.Eskow, R. (2012, August 31).
Ten ways Americans have lost their freedom – Salon.com. Retrieved November 22, 2017, from https://www.salon.com/2012/08/31/ten_ways_americans_have_lost_their_freedom