What does “America” mean to you?

I’m visiting family in Utah over the holidays. At my in-laws’ place, I came across a copy of a recent Reader’s Digest with the following teaser phrase on the cover: “What does ‘America’ mean to you?” I paused a few moments to think how I would answer that question. The idea of “America” certainly means a lot of different things to me, but if I were to sum it up in one sentence, it would be: “America means a relatively stable and safe environment where I can raise a family and, for the most part, be free to choose what I want to do with my life.”

It also occurred to me that “America” also very literally provides me with a livelihood: I make a living by learning and teaching about American politics and government!

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