America: Creed vs. Culture

The debate is raging in conservative circles on whether America is a nation based on creed or culture, or as some put it, one based on blood and soil. It is a debate that has raged for decades, one that many conservatives thought was won and over. But as Donald Trump, and the movement behind him, have done with so many assumptions, is to turn the conservative “movement” on its head. All the “intellectuals” are all in a lather.

In fact, America is both a creedal nation as well as a blood and soil nation. It is the merging of these two that gives America is uniqueness. But, what needs to be made clear is that America was not founded as a creedal nation, indeed, the entire concept is absurd. America became, in part, a creedal nation, fully enshrined as one in the 20th Century, but the beginnings of our transfiguration into one was ushered in by Abraham Lincoln’s “New Birth of Freedom.” But that was 80 years after the Founding. One can claim that the seeds of our creedal nation were sewn in the words of Thomas Jefferson into the Declaration, but one is suffering delusion if they think that is what the Founders were intending.

To make any claim of blood and soil or that we are a nation based on a people and culture, one runs the inevitable risk of being called a racist. It is a real shame of our political correct culture is that this slander is no longer one parlayed exclusively by the left, but also by many on the right, as seen in the #NeverTrump movement. But here goes. America was founded by Englishmen. The Founders, almost all Englishmen, were disgruntled, angry, freedom-loving patriots, jealous of their liberty who would risk a revolution and war against their king to secure their rights as Englishmen. They were inheritors of the rights carried forward since before Magna Carta.

They spoke English, they were almost exclusively Protestant (201 of the 204 Founders) and were carriers of a tradition of self-rule and a cultural heritage that traced itself back to the 5th century and beyond, when the Angles and Saxons left what is now Germany and invaded Britannia. Their rule over Britain would be relatively short, but their dominance of language, customs, culture and ideas of government and society would form what would become England. That is the culture that would become America, indeed, America put that “culture” into hyperdrive in what would become the most powerful nation the world has ever seen.

Yes, we have the kernel of a creed written into the Declaration of Independence, one that Lincoln so brilliantly brought forth in the darkest days of the Republic’s existence. Indeed, his brilliance, in an act of near-desperation, saved this nation from permanent division. But we didn’t form a country solely on an “idea.” We formed a country to be free Englishmen, free of tyranny. In fact, the Founders were fearful of any ideology, or, shall we say, creed. The idea of an ideological revolution would be anathema to Adams, Madison, Mason, Henry etc. The French Revolution was a true creedal Revolution, in fact, so was the Russian Revolution.

The many others, the non-Englishmen that were here already here, or would come later, would become part of America, not just because they believed in a “creed.” They became American because they adopted the culture, the language, the mannerisms and the ways of the English Founders. They became Americans, or really, they became Englishmen. All Americans have become “Anglicized,” in every sense that that term applies culturally.

We are a people with a soil, we are a nation that has its roots in a specific people and culture, even if we are not all members of that “tribe” ethnically, we have all adapted to that “tribe.” Yes, our roots come from the Germanic people that crossed the North Sea in the 5th century A.D. That is indisputable. This, however, is not a sign of any kind of Germanic superiority. Indeed, the Germanic tribes that stayed behind and eventually become part of modern-day Germany have very little in common with the tribes that formed what is today England. They become Continental and Europeanized, if you will. They are not the heirs to the Anglo-Saxon tradition.

Further, though we are all heirs of Western Civilization, that means many different things and the offshoots are dramatically different. We share things in common, but the differences are striking. So, as there is no monolithic Western Civilization, there is also no basis for the claims of white nationalist of a unified “white” culture. This is just idiocy. An American of African descent with roots in this nation for over 300 years is more of an heir to the Anglo-Saxon tradition than, not just a Bulgarian, but indeed someone from today’s Hamburg, Germany.

America is incredibly unique. Yes, we have a creed. But we are not just a nation built on an idea of “All men are created Equal.” We were founded by a very distinct culture and people, with a language and religion unique in itself. The brilliance of America is the enabling of other peoples, other races, religions and cultures to metastasize into that dominant culture. But adapt and join they did. They had to. By making a false claim of being solely a creedal nation, disregarding the cultural roots of our Republic, we detach ourselves from who we are, we become an ideology, nothing more. As John Quincy Adams said, we go forth in search of monsters to destroy, indeed, we become what our Founders most feared. Ideologues have caused untold misery and death in this world. We must always stay grounded and remember our history and roots as free Englishmen and the inheritors of their tradition of liberty.

The debate is raging in conservative circles on whether America is a nation based on creed or culture, or as some put it, one based on blood and soil. It is a debate that has raged for decades, one that many conservatives thought was won and over. But as Donald Trump, and the movement behind him, have done with so many assumptions, is to turn the conservative “movement” on its head. All the “intellectuals” are all in a lather.

In fact, America is both a creedal nation as well as a blood and soil nation. It is the merging of these two that gives America is uniqueness. But, what needs to be made clear is that America was not founded as a creedal nation, indeed, the entire concept is absurd. America became, in part, a creedal nation, fully enshrined as one in the 20th Century, but the beginnings of our transfiguration into one was ushered in by Abraham Lincoln’s “New Birth of Freedom.” But that was 80 years after the Founding. One can claim that the seeds of our creedal nation were sewn in the words of Thomas Jefferson into the Declaration, but one is suffering delusion if they think that is what the Founders were intending.

To make any claim of blood and soil or that we are a nation based on a people and culture, one runs the inevitable risk of being called a racist. It is a real shame of our political correct culture is that this slander is no longer one parlayed exclusively by the left, but also by many on the right, as seen in the #NeverTrump movement. But here goes. America was founded by Englishmen. The Founders, almost all Englishmen, were disgruntled, angry, freedom-loving patriots, jealous of their liberty who would risk a revolution and war against their king to secure their rights as Englishmen. They were inheritors of the rights carried forward since before Magna Carta.

They spoke English, they were almost exclusively Protestant (201 of the 204 Founders) and were carriers of a tradition of self-rule and a cultural heritage that traced itself back to the 5th century and beyond, when the Angles and Saxons left what is now Germany and invaded Britannia. Their rule over Britain would be relatively short, but their dominance of language, customs, culture and ideas of government and society would form what would become England. That is the culture that would become America, indeed, America put that “culture” into hyperdrive in what would become the most powerful nation the world has ever seen.

Yes, we have the kernel of a creed written into the Declaration of Independence, one that Lincoln so brilliantly brought forth in the darkest days of the Republic’s existence. Indeed, his brilliance, in an act of near-desperation, saved this nation from permanent division. But we didn’t form a country solely on an “idea.” We formed a country to be free Englishmen, free of tyranny. In fact, the Founders were fearful of any ideology, or, shall we say, creed. The idea of an ideological revolution would be anathema to Adams, Madison, Mason, Henry etc. The French Revolution was a true creedal Revolution, in fact, so was the Russian Revolution.

The many others, the non-Englishmen that were here already here, or would come later, would become part of America, not just because they believed in a “creed.” They became American because they adopted the culture, the language, the mannerisms and the ways of the English Founders. They became Americans, or really, they became Englishmen. All Americans have become “Anglicized,” in every sense that that term applies culturally.

We are a people with a soil, we are a nation that has its roots in a specific people and culture, even if we are not all members of that “tribe” ethnically, we have all adapted to that “tribe.” Yes, our roots come from the Germanic people that crossed the North Sea in the 5th century A.D. That is indisputable. This, however, is not a sign of any kind of Germanic superiority. Indeed, the Germanic tribes that stayed behind and eventually become part of modern-day Germany have very little in common with the tribes that formed what is today England. They become Continental and Europeanized, if you will. They are not the heirs to the Anglo-Saxon tradition.

Further, though we are all heirs of Western Civilization, that means many different things and the offshoots are dramatically different. We share things in common, but the differences are striking. So, as there is no monolithic Western Civilization, there is also no basis for the claims of white nationalist of a unified “white” culture. This is just idiocy. An American of African descent with roots in this nation for over 300 years is more of an heir to the Anglo-Saxon tradition than, not just a Bulgarian, but indeed someone from today’s Hamburg, Germany.

America is incredibly unique. Yes, we have a creed. But we are not just a nation built on an idea of “All men are created Equal.” We were founded by a very distinct culture and people, with a language and religion unique in itself. The brilliance of America is the enabling of other peoples, other races, religions and cultures to metastasize into that dominant culture. But adapt and join they did. They had to. By making a false claim of being solely a creedal nation, disregarding the cultural roots of our Republic, we detach ourselves from who we are, we become an ideology, nothing more. As John Quincy Adams said, we go forth in search of monsters to destroy, indeed, we become what our Founders most feared. Ideologues have caused untold misery and death in this world. We must always stay grounded and remember our history and roots as free Englishmen and the inheritors of their tradition of liberty.

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