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Pantho Tsali

UWRT 1102

Aaron Kashtan


American Identity in Text

Throughout the history of our country, from the day it was founded to today, Americans

have expressed what it means to be an American through different forms of media. Some choose

to write articles, books, songs, speeches and even comics to express American identity. Each one

mentions qualities that make America, America. One of the most American values thats

practiced is democracy and we can see that in the elections of our political leaders. This is

especially true when electing a president. I chose former president, Barrack Obamas inaugural

speech in 2009. This speech represents American identity because he talks about democracy, how

America will move forward, and our history as a country. Former President Obama uses

examples, that in my opinion, Americans value highly regardless of political affiliation.

In Barrack Obamas inaugural speech, he included We hold these truths to be self-

evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain

unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In his opening

statement. I believe these are important values and words that make America what it is. I believe

that America should be a country founded upon the beliefs of freedom for all. Obama opens his

speech with this famous line from our Declaration of Independence. By doing so he is explicitly

saying that The United States of America is a nation founded upon freedom and equality no

matter your race, religion, or creed. This is a statement that I feel all educated Americans feel and
try to emulate in their everyday lives. Obamas use of that excerpt reaffirms the idea that

America is a country of equality and that we as a people need to uphold that value if we want to

continue to prosper. He uses this rhetoric to speak to the citizens who voted for him and persuade

the ones who are not sure what to think of him or do not support him yet. He lets America know

that he will do his best to uphold everyones rights and lead the country in a positive direction.

President Obamas speech related well to the current situation in America. Many wanted

hope and change after the most recent presidency. For the American people can no more meet

the demands of todays world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces

of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and

science teachers well need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks

and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. He is promising to bring

peace during an era of war, a reform in our education, and change in our infrastructure. In that

quote Obama is showing how, together, we as Americans can bring forth change and create a

better tomorrow. He is asking for our full support regardless of affiliation. Democrat or

Republican it doesnt matter we need to unite to bring forth change and put and keep America

ahead. His use of words that inspire patriotism and nationalism are affective for all Americans.

Despite our differences we all hold a place in our hearts for America.

I believe that one of Americas core values is democracy. I think every American today

would agree with me in saying that we were built on democracy and the choice to elect our

leaders. Obama also believes in our method of democracy very much too in his speech. He states

Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our

Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. He is explicitly saying that us as

citizens voting during the elections upholds our ideas of democracy. He is also implicitly saying
that our ability to elect leaders reaffirms our value of freedom and upholding our many

amendments that our country has, another strong value of American identity. I believe electing

our leaders is a huge part of American culture and identity. We try to elect leaders that will speak

for and represent our political beliefs in our state and federal government. We believe in the

practice of democracy so much that we have gone to war or cut of communications with

countries to make them change into democratic nations. I think Obamas use of it shows the

American people that they had a say in the election of their leader even if he was not the one they

voted for.

I think one of the things that makes America, America, is that we move forward and

change However with the election of our current president we are moving back but thats a

subject for another paper. When Obama was elected, he was a symbol of great change and hope

in America at the time. There were a lot of things that needed to be fixed and changed to progress

as a country and Obama spoke of what and how he would bring that change.

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed

travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure

competition and fair play.

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people

from lifes worst hazards and misfortune. Said the president elect. He used words like together

to show how he stood with the people and was a fellow American struggling with them and

going through the changes and learning the lessons of past governing. He made himself more

relatable and human like rather than a scary authoritative figure. He then begins to praise the
American people for being strong and pushing the government to challenge itself and pass laws

that will lead to a better tomorrow for its citizens.

Obamas inaugural speech was an amazing speech that he gave. He wanted to include all

the people of America and tell them it was a journey that they would all take it together and start

on the road to a better America. He instilled ideas of nationalism and identified the values we

hold strong as a nation. He made promises for a cleaner future that America would lead and

create new world full of ideas with social and technological advances. Most importantly he

spoke with power and conviction that inspired people and made them feel like they were proud

to be Americans.