What is America?

When this question is posed, the standard answer is rooted in geography — America is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by Canada, and the south by Mexico.

However, I would propose that America is not so much a location as it is an idea: An idea that spans the gulf of time — the idea that the individual unshackled from autocracy is the cornerstone of a society and the impetus of its progress. When groups of people unite under a banner of mutual self-interest — to harness it for their development, not repress, 

squelch, or diffuse it for the benefit of strangers — that unity we call government of, by, and for the people, creates almost unbounded opportunity. 

This banner was codified in early history. It re-surfaced in ancient Greece and was re-acquired in the Roman Republic. It was stirred by the Magna Carta, and returned to per-eminence per the Constitution of the United States of America. This idea that men, bound to the rule of law (versus the rule of emotion), and despite their faults and failings, could bond over one over-arching principle — and thereby succeed and prosper.

That paramount principle rests in the value of the individual — and how government should design and purpose itself to protect the individual from all who would stifle, chain, and impede his liberty, and protect him from the unhealthy license of others.

That is America.

Allen Getz

Boydton, VA