Americanism the single greatest tie that binds us as a Nation

The single greatest tie that binds us as a Nation

—Michael R. Lachance, July 22, 2018

What’s happening to Lewiston, Maine? The politically expedient claims by many that Lewiston's problems are “racial” are intellectually weak and shortsighted. Yet even after so many well-intentioned missteps in our city over the last decade, the root cause continues to be ignored.

Long known as “The Melting Pot”, the United States embodies a culture unique in the world. Where other cultures have failed around the globe, those tired, poor and huddled have sought our shores. America has been sought out by millions not for multiculturalism—ours has always been an “American” culture—but for Americanism. In the century that was witness to Lincoln, Kennedy and King, Americanism accomplished the extraordinary in race, suffrage, science and industry. Yet in the half-century since, we have regressed. Today, Americans fight for division by class, race and status—regardless of ideology—and risk destroying everything our nation was built on. As Americans, we’ve lost ourselves in a cultural war based on self-serving and misguided indignation. The insanity of political correctness and the audacity of engineered outrage are anathema to Americanism. The solution will never be found in legislated moderation or radical revolution, but awaits us in a “rational revolution.”

Lewiston has been witness to generations of French and Irish immigrants who located here for no other reason than work. They did not migrate to Maine to be on-the-take from anyone but their employer. And while there certainly were clashes between French and Irish, Catholic and Protestant, at the end of the day they chose assimilation, embraced the many facets of Americanism and were proud to become not only American Citizens, but “Americans” through-and-through. We owe them much. Shying away from these truths will fail the test of time.

What Ellington Recognized
Seventy five years ago, Duke Ellington composed the magnum opus ‘Black, Brown & Beige’ which was, in his own words “a parallel to the history of the American Negro.” It celebrated the journey from slavery to freedom and the subsequent assimilation and social progress that carried forward through the Second World War. While Ellington knew the struggle within his tone-parallel was incomplete, he still cherished dearly what mattered most; a future based not on racial disparity, but assimilation; a spirit of freedom and patriotism for America; a spirit that rejects victimhood, class warfare, bigotry and racism. Long before LBJ’s ‘Great Society’ Ellington had identified the true greatness of our society—it embodied our body, mind and soul—we were Americans first, and gave light to the world not because of our pain but because of our potential.

As history shows, Lewiston has been welcoming people of color for 100 years, co-existing with seasonal migrants who often worked harder than many full-time residents. But what drew them here? We know they didn’t arrive seeking out welfare, social services, cars, phones, GA or food stamps. Like many Americans, when work ceased to be available they left. History also notes that by the 1990's both Lewiston and Auburn cheerfully elected a Mayor of color and would likely do so again.

Only when the pillars of Americanism are held up as lenses to evaluate Lewiston’s recent violence will we turn our city around. In 2012 former Mayor Bob Macdonald made an effort to allude to some aspects of this fact. Unfortunately, while his intentions were noble, his message was lost in a media frenzy fueled by his oversimplified and politically incorrect candor.

As experienced across our nation today, multi-culturalism and political correctness have devolved into wretched forms of cultural marxism—a trigger term for neo-liberal progressives because it hits home so closely. Controlling of your speech, your thoughts, your fears and your will by others are all mechanisms used to socially condition, dehumanize and engineer a society. Continuing down that road and ignoring these truths will only add more fuel to the bitterness and frustration felt by many residents in Lewiston, regardless of party, race or religion.

Americans are one culture, not one race. We each have a unique heritage and story, are of many colors, parties and religions, yet are fully capable of living in harmony so long as we remain one American culture. Throughout our history, this “Americanism” has remained the single greatest tie that binds us as a nation. If we choose to abandon it to the false promises of multi-culturalism we will have lost our nation.

Want a solution? Respect your fellow man. Think beyond the rhetoric. Speak the truth. Vote wisely for your city, county, state and federal leaders. And never be afraid to be an American Patriot.

Mike Lachance is the House District 61 Candidate for the Maine House of Representatives in Lewiston.
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