Three Things That Make America American

Although calling ourselves "exceptional" kind of sticks in my craw because it smacks of a superiority complex, America is indeed different from other countries in some very positive ways. What makes America American? There can be numerous answers to this question, but I think three are very important to consider these days.

1. Diversity. Unless you are an American Indian, you or your family came from somewhere else in the world. This is truly what makes America great - being exposed to, and sometimes integrating, various traditions and cultures make us much more creative and vibrant as a society. If you don't like diversity, you can live in plenty of countries where the vast majority of people are the same ethnicity and religion. Toodle-loo to you.

2. The accepted value that everyone can succeed in life if you work at it. Laws have eliminated barriers based on race and gender. Social class is not a factor. Indeed, succeeding to rise to a higher social class than the one you grew up in is a badge of honor. This is not true in many other places in the world. Now I am not oblivious. I know there are still many barriers to success in lower-income communities which are well documented - poor schools, inadequate healthcare, violence. Still, this American value remains steady - we want people to succeed if they work hard. We just need to keep figuring out the strategies and tactics that will make that happen for all. If you don't believe that it is an American value that everyone should have equal opportunity, then you don't believe in the Constitution. Go live in a class-based, income-based society. Toodle-loo to you.

3. Compromise. Our government is designed for legislators to compromise. If you believe in "my way or the highway", go live in a totalitarian society. Toodle-loo.

Donald Trump is a demagogue catering to the lowest common un-American denominator. It is a disgrace that he may become the Republican nominee for President. My fellow Americans, let us remember what makes America American.