Can America be all things to all people? Sometimes it feels like America is no longer that providential highway of freedom that has come to be immortilized by that great symbolic lady of liberty (the famous statue of liberty), but has become a “Pimps’ Paradise”.
To the extent that a pimp is one who facilitates sexual relationships between one woman and many men; men who, of course, have only exploitative interest in the woman, and to the extent that the woman, being exploited is made to be and do whatever each man wants of her; the woman becomes all things to all men. Some people may argue that the woman is equally exploiting the men that take momentary possession of her, but that is hardly the point to be made in the context of this subject or the preceding allegory.
One could also argue that for the most part, if not always, none of the men who take momentary ownership of the woman cares about her and none of them would value the real essence of her womanhood, as to treat her with respect. When she becomes used up, perhaps ravaged by all the diseases deposited in her by all the wayfarers that passed though her gates and drank from her well but never gave her any care, she is abandoned— like a dry well, like a plagued city or like a sunken pirate vessel.
For another allegory, perhaps I could also borrow an excerpt from Theodor Billroth’s description of statistics, which implies that a woman ought to be a mirror of “purest virtue and truth”, not a whore to “use as one pleases”. Likewise, American must be the same thing to all people—a country founded on individual equality and the freedom of each individual, a freedom that remains in fidelity to the truth enshrined in the essence of freedom itself.
America the idea and the America country, symbolized by the motto “E pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one)
can not long endure as long as that providential idea of individual equality and outpost of freedom is
increasingly marginalized by a substantive shift towards a position that is clearly antithetic to
what the founders envisioned, a situation that could be equally described as “Out of one, many”;
as each one and each group seeks to make America a profusely “multicultural society”, whether or not
the culture is diametrical to the essential American ideal and whether or not the “freedom” that
is exercised has fidelity to the essential truth of freedom.
As America continues on the path of becoming all things to all people, as she is remade in the many images of all that pass through her gates and drink from her well, she continues to lose a sense of her deeper self and continues to die a slow death of self-forgetfulness. As one group demands that the truth about the cast system that holds some people as untouchables be expunged from American history books, just because it is an embarrassment, hence offensive to them. In complying with their demand and to the extent that these are Americans who uphold the cast system, albeit outside America, the cast system, indirectly and by extension becomes one of America’s cultures.
There is another group demanding that freedom of speech be curtailed or suspended when it comes to issues concerning their religion, particularly with unsavory tendencies, such as the oppression of women. To them, any speech that questions such tendencies or practices inspired thereby; constitutes an insult to their religion, hence an offense to them. In complying with their demand too, and to the extent that they too are “Americans”, who support the oppression of women and violence against dissenters, albeit in far away lands, such oppression of women and violence against dissenters, indirectly and by extension becomes one of America’s multi-cultures.
There are as yet many more groups. Some deny the foundational principle for the declaration of America’s independence, the principle that also inspired the American Constitution. They believe that all men are not created equal, that they themselves are superior to others, a view that brought America so great a shame. They seek to redact the truth of that shame from America’s consciousness. Some seek to expunge the truth about life from the American conscience. Some deny even the basic concept of law. Some deny the essential nature of man and woman, and the natural imperatives that demand their union and the attributes thereof—attributes that under guard the stability of society and human perpetuity.
As yet, there are others who reject a common unifying language, instead seek a multi-lingual society as the vehicles of multiculturalism. Other “Americans”, remain citizens of many nations, to them patriotism holds a marginal value. And there are yet many more, over two hundred groups, each with its own demands on America, groups who should be transformed rather than transform the essential nature of America. Hence, America the melting pot of peoples and cultures has become America the salad bowl of peoples and cultures—all in the same bowl but separate.
For America to remain an inspiration to the world, which until America came into existence and hitherto has not seen anything like America the country or America the idea—a beacon of hope and inspiration for freedom, America must not forget her true self, by becoming all things to all people. America must remain the same thing to all people.