America has always sold a civilizational narrative that brushed our own crimes under the rug. But it’s also true that, caked in the muck of our own problems, our ethos dreams out loud of a world where the only requirement to be called family is show up to the party and say “I’d like to join.”
That earnest, slap-you-on-the-back, “come on over and grab an ear of corn” is the personality from which true greatness emerges. It’s the characteristic that builds communities, opens the space for honest conversation among mixed groups, attracts talent, and further binds us to our international neighbors through friendship and intermarriage. And it results in some damn good fusion cuisine.
The American Dream isn’t about a white picket fence and turkey in your oven. You can get those things in any country. It’s about the pursuit of a big backyard party that anyone’s welcome to join as long as you agree to help keep the party going and welcome the next guest.
If you shut it down, I’m not sure what’s left.