Why America?  A new article series

With ideological division and partisan animosity ever heightening in this country, policy considerations are increasingly taking a back seat. Instead of informed debates on issues—whether they be free trade, health care, or the importance of free speech—the dividing line between the various ideological factions in the United States seems to rest on a more foundational question. This is, whether the United States is fundamentally decent and worth celebrating, or if it is—and always was—broken beyond repair.

Is the United States John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill,” an image invoked by Presidents from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan? Or, is it rotten at its core, and are the apparent, outward achievements of the United States nothing more than pieces of fruit growing from a poisoned tree? The latter is, of course, what various media projects from The 1619 Project on down have come to suggest.

As such, here at Merion West, we have turned to recent immigrants to the United States, a group endowed with the benefit of perspective, to explore this question through a series of personal reflections and essays.

Letter to an American Agonist Why America - “What the United States shares with Athens is not the pretense of democracy, or any other feature of the content of her tradition but, rather, her citizens’ uncommon commitment to contesting it.” Vahaken Mouradian 11/19/2020
A Soviet Immigrant Reminds Americans What They’ve Forgotten Why America - “This country confers upon people the basic, fundamental dignity—starkly absent in Soviet Russia and in many other places on Earth—of drawing a more-or-less direct line between our life choices and our lives’ outcomes.” Alexander Zubatov 11/11/2020