What is the Idea of America?

That is the theme of a new book by Eric Metaxas that I am reading entitled If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty. From the description:

If You Can Keep It is at once a thrilling review of America’s uniqueness, and a sobering reminder that America’s greatness cannot continue unless we truly understand what our founding fathers meant for us to be. The book includes a stirring call-to-action for every American to understand the ideals behind the “noble experiment in ordered liberty” that is America. It also paints a vivid picture of the tremendous fragility of that experiment and explains why that fragility has been dangerously forgotten—and in doing so it lays out our own responsibility to live those ideals and carry on those freedoms. Metaxas believes America is not a nation bounded by ethnic identity or geography, but rather by a radical and unprecedented idea, based upon liberty and freedom. It’s time to reconnect to that idea before America loses the very foundation for what made it exceptional in the first place.


I think part of the problem is that Americans are no longer encouraged to share the same value system. We are divided into groups that have agendas and we have forgotten that our American values of liberty and opportunity for everyone is the goal. Nowhere does anyone talk of liberty much, but more of license, particularly progressives who see freedom as license to be be as immoral as one wishes without consequence. It’s an interesting question: what is the Idea of America today? I’m not sure people really know anymore.


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