Are We Still The United States of America?

The United States of America

This is what we’ve called this geographically contiguous (mostly) nation-state for the past 245 years; does it mean the same thing today to most of the people who exist within its borders as it did to those who founded it?  Let’s parse this name using the online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary and see what we come up with:

The –  (b) used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent is a unique or a particular member of its class

(f) used as a function word before the name of a branch of human endeavor or proficiency

(i) used as a function word before a proper name to indicate the distinctive characteristics of a person or thing

(m) used as a function word to designate one of a class as the best, most typical, best known, or most worth singling out

United –  (1) made one; combined

(2) relating to or produced by joint action

(3) being in agreement; harmonious

State –  (1)(a) a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory

(3)(a) one of the constituent units of a nation having a federal government; specifically, one of the fifty such units comprising the great part of the U.S.

Of –  (2)(a) used as a function word to indicate origin or derivation

(3) used as a function word to indicate the component material, parts, or elements of the contents

(4)(a) used as a function word to indicate the whole that includes the part denoted by the preceding word

(6)(a) used as a function word to indicate belonging or a possessive relationship

(9)(a) used as a function word to indicate the object of an action denoted or implied by the preceding noun

(10) used as a function word to indicate a characteristic or distinctive quality of possession

America –  ??

I took some liberties in picking and choosing the parts of each of these definitions seemed most appropriate for this exercise, and, to Merriam-Webster’s credit, theirs included distinctions I could use for all of the words, except one—AMERICA.

Just what is the definition of America today?  Merriam-Webster did cite three; the first two related to geography, and the third was a reiteration of the title of this article (minus the word the).

What’s your point Jeff?

Permit me this opportunity to explain.  Language is one of the most powerful tools we as humans possess.  It is the primary means of sociability we have.  We associate with each other through language; we also dissociate with each other through language.  Language is how we describe the world around us, and distinguish ourselves from others, through the descriptions we hold within ourselves of who we are and who the others we encounter seem to be.

A group of people who lived on this continent in the 18th Century named a new nation for which they had fought (and many died) to earn their independence to claim.  They called it The United States of America; they chose those words and that phrase carefully and deliberately.

Why?  Why not just the United States?  Why tack on the “of America?”

What was the purpose for the uniting of these States in 1776, and the codification and ratification of that unity in 1789?  What is the purpose of their remaining united today?

To best answer the questions pertaining to the early Americans, let’s review what America was not to be for them.

It was not to be:

  • Disrespectful of Natural Law,
  • Comprised of wicked and immoral people,
  • Governed by wicked leaders,
  • Devoid of religion,
  • Governed through ignorance, rejection or denial of the existence of a supreme Creator,
  • Governed with unequal application of justice to any citizen, regardless of background or stature,
  • A grantor of rights,
  • A redistributor of wealth,
  • Ruled by a few without the explicit consent of the many,
  • Ignorant of, or naïve to, the frailty and proneness to abuse power inherent in all humans, in the public as well as private sectors,
  • A nation of laws, not men,
  • In opposition to, and destructive of, the family,
  • Under a huge burden of debt,
  • A democracy.

So what is our uniting purpose today?  Are we still The United States of America based on this definition?  If not, what are we now, and where are we headed?

To have a uniting purpose, we need a shared language, and a set of distinctions within that language that represent things about ourselves and the world around us and enable each of us to interpret in a sufficiently similar way.  As the United States of America, I think most would agree that being an American is that uniting purpose, but how many of us share a sufficiently similar interpretation of what that means?  I anticipate for most of the regular visitors of AFNN that most, if not all, of the distinctions for what America is not as put forth by our Founders are shared in ample supply for us to want to remain united as States and a Nation, but how many people is that, and how many others share a background understanding of why and how America was founded, and accept that understanding based on their interpretations of the universe in which America was constituted?  How many more, who lack that similar background understanding of America and the universe, could be educated to understand and accept America as a way of being in the world?

Are we still The United States of America?  On paper, yes; the U.S. Constitution is still widely considered as the supreme law of our land.  What that means to each of us individually, and what, if any action, it prompts each of us to be in, in support of, rejection of, or indifference to seems rather wide and varied today.  In spirit, I don’t know.

So what are we then?  I think it’s fair to minimally say that we are a group of people who share a mostly contiguous land mass, and who remains relatively unified under a notion that we have a written national Constitution, and that we are organized into smaller geographical areas which we call States, each of which has systems of government at various levels.  Most of us are members of these groups because we were born here, and many others have come from outside to partake in what America means to them.  While I’m not trying to be cynical here, I’m having difficulty adding anything more to this which I think would include everyone who currently resides within our borders.

Where are we headed?  This is a question that as many of us as possible need to seriously ponder and speculate upon.  If the answer is anything other than continuing to be The United States of America then we need to consider why that is, and what that truly means for each of us, and for the future of humanity.

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3 thoughts on “Are We Still The United States of America?”

  1. The wall fell and so did our purpose since WWII. But even so, that purpose was not traditional USA. We could point and discuss what and where changes were made to what the USA is or is not, but what will it show ? I mean this current regime is an extension of the forces which have been at work since WWII even though more changed since 9/11. Which is to say the current trend of this current regime is mentally unstable. Have you followed this ?

    Going forward to remain as the USA of old will not happen nor should it. I mean, yes, keep the old, but recognize there must be some new stuff added too, thus, as I indicate, “Going forward to remain as the USA”

    Just what that new stuff is is not yet discussed, but certainly it must not ever include the mentally unstable notions of the current regime and their mindset delusions and more so their degeneracies. Those notions offer zero purpose to our survivability – they are completely anti-human.

    To this notion of going forward, I keep getting a picture of what others describe when they say let’s return to the way it was before – cows munching grass in a blissful field of dreaminess. Well, . . . that’s not my America.

    What we have, I think, is truly uncharted as to where we go from here – the planet fills with people, communication explodes too, ideas . . . same – an Age of Plenty except for unity of direction and purpose. The need to accumulate and control and conquer remain within, but not the empty spaces to fulfill those needs without causing trouble for others. As animals, created by GOD, we still are animals, but ones which do stuff unlike the others, so where do we go from here without changing what we are which is mostly impossible.

    Remaining the USA is imperative for several reasons. We still are an ideal being sought even though for base reasons – wealth, but more so for a system which has been mostly stable except for this latest regime’s degeneracy.

    MAGA – Make America Great Again. I ask but there’s no answer, what made America great ?
    Return, but go forward too – “Rest enough for the individual man, too much and too soon, and we call it death. But for Man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First, this little planet and its winds and ways. And then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him.”

    • Exactly what made America great, in the beginning. Justice, freedom, small government and none of this stuff we have today hanging around and choking us.
      Getting back to constitutional order is much of where we have allowed this train to go off the rails. Crushing the juggernaut of leftism, which is now fully displayed helps undo all the blockages we have in getting back to a reasonable and just society.
      But, if we don’t fight for that, like so many did before us, it is gone.

  2. “MAGA” Make America Great Again. What a concept! What made it great to begin with? 1. God, Elohim, El Shaddai, Adonai Yaweh, The Lord God Almighty, “Our Creator.” The founding fathers believed in God and subscribed to Christian, scriptural moral values & methods. Individual freedom is a biblical concept. “As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil.” (1 Peter 2:16) 2. Our Constitution that has protected American’s freedom & rights for two and a half centuries. (We must defend that constitution, in order for it to continue that protection!) 3. Heroes, famous individuals and obscure multitudes, from the founding fathers of the 18th century to my neighbors, friends, family & associates of today. Heroic hearts performing heroic deeds both, great and small. This is an abridged list, as I am conserving my digital ink & parchment. I don’t want to get off point by going into why we are currently circling the drain since we, as a nation began murdering our unborn.


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