Former melting pot

Former melting pot

May 8th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

In 1993, the musical artist Prince changed his stage name to a symbol that represented a morphing of the combination of the circle-stick symbols for male and female. Because there was no stated pronunciation or meaning of the symbol, the performer's transition led to his being referred to as "the artist formerly known as Prince."

Many of us learned in American history that the United States enjoyed the reputation of being the world's "melting pot." This metaphor was used to draw our thoughts toward an idea of a land, a nation that offers a unique experience of freedom, opportunity and individuality.

Whether it's due to the politicization of each demographic for the purposes of vote seeking, the emphasis on minority and protected classes for the purpose of government funding, or the loss of American heritage from a civics deficit and a global-versus-American patriotism, the hyphenated individual now chooses not to "melt."

The "melting pot" communicated the notion of equal opportunity regardless of nationality or manner of citizenship. The blending of cultures, world views and experiences made the recipe of the United States a delightful dish that satisfied the hungry, filled the emptiness of the ambitious, and was a salute to a nation formed on the sole desire to honor, protect and govern by the consent of the individual.

Now, "the nation formerly known as the melting pot," is led by a president who's been said to own an "Apology Tour" in his diplomatic efforts and to physically bow before leaders of other nations.

Traits symbolic of "the nation" now emphasize our differences based on culture, nationality, even sexual preferences at the expense of our democratic republic's identity.

From the Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities, "The history of the melting pot theory can be traced back to 1782 when J. Hector de Crevecoeur, a French settler in New York, envisioned the United States not only as a land of opportunity but a society where individuals of all nations melted into a new race of men ... "

At the turn of the 20th century, Jewish humorist and writer Israel Zangill wrote the play, "The Melting Pot" whose hero declares: "America is God's Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming ... "

The nameless stew that is characteristic of today's identity politics, the anything-hyphenated American, and the discomfort in being a proud American among some circles needs to be thrown out in this election cycle.

America needs a leader who values the melting pot and honors the national legacy that has paved the way for freedom, prosperity and equal opportunity.