Paul Revere, one of the original American patriots, did not include in his definition of “American” most of the people then residing in the North American continent, be they French, Spanish, or native. To him, “American” meant people born in North America to a family that originated in Great Britain and resided in one of the thirteen British colonies. Revere’s sense of self was as a Massachusettsan, a New Englander, an American (in the sense described above), an Englishman (culturally), and a Christian. His and his fellow Patriots’ quarrel with their mother country of England was purely political, as described in the Declaration of Independence. In no way did the Patriots wish to distance themselves from English culture, English history, or English religion, i.e., the Church of England, which they simply renamed Episcopalian. 

What this shows is that political affiliation or political structure was of little real import to American Patriots. They felt aggrieved by the political system that England used to administer its overseas territories and wished to do all they could to replace it with a system of their own choosing, but in no way did this act affect their sense of self-identity. The Constitution, as the governing document of their new political system, was never meant to replace culture, religion, genetics, or shared history as the defining aspects of what it meant to be an American.

The erosion of these markers of identity and their replacement by the American Right with the Constitution and by the American Left with adherence to a set of generalized and ephemeral progressive values has created in America an identity crisis of immense proportions, and it is this identity crisis that is at the very root of America’s terminal decline.

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