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What is America?

We are beset with a maelstrom of words. Still your hearts, silence your minds: listen.
What is America? I hear people say it is missing, that democracy is betrayed, the republic is dying. People fear their lifestyles will cease. I tell you, something lives on. We the people
have seen storms before, and whatever you may suffer your neighbours and friends weather with you.

What is America? I hear people say it is great, that it is vibrant and growing. I hear the
songs of praise mouthed by those who see their ancestors’ traditions live on in their families and homes. I tell you, something decays. Ignorance, fear, and resentment fester like untreated wounds.

What is America? It is not evil. Our founders were not perfect, but I believe they did the
best for you they knew how. We still try to do our best. Take pride in the opportunities you
do have.

It is not unanimous. We never have been. The first states struggled to cooperate. Faith and
immigration have drawn centuries-old, sandy lines of transient division. Take comfort in
meeting people not like you.

It is not dependent. An adverse world forged America with disease, arms, and the awesome powers of Nature. Ours was a seedling country scarred by war, self-reliant and alone on the frontier of the world. Take courage in what has been overcome so far.

America has been rash and short-sighted in court, Congress, and battlefield. America has
been divided, even to fighting and purging itself. America has been isolationist, hauled up by its own bootstraps. These values color our flag. They influence your families, touch your
lives, explain Mr Trump’s vision. They are all American. In that, they are the same.

What is America? Profess what makes you proud.
What is America? Share your comforts with all you meet.
What is America? Ride out the storm, face courageously toward the future.
What is this “America?” Join me, join your roommate, join a stranger and walk off to look
for America. Examine both the crowded turnpike and the open field; we are all here to look
for America. As you do, listen. As you do, know that the answer you find is our shared
future: What will America be?

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