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The Importance of American Values

Updated on December 10, 2015

American values are important for us to remember not only for us as individuals but as a country. The values identified and discussed in this article may not be a complete list but they are important for us to fight to retain them as individuals and as a country. Some of the values are under attack in many ways. Some are by individuals, groups or organizations and some by our government and justice system.

The first one to discuss is our individualism as an individual and as a country. The qualities and values we have are what make us who we are as individuals and as a country. Individualism is important if we are to retain our own identity. We should not compare us to other individuals. Each of us has our own talents and expertise that will be unique. It does not matter what others are doing or have done the quality of our decisions and actions make us who we are. Decisions made by others should not impact our actions unless. The same is true of our country. Decisions and actions by foreign governments should have no bearing on us as a country. Like us as individuals our country is unique. The values of our country when it began should never be forgotten. The approach of government or at least the appearance in some respect feels we should compare our country to the actions of others. Government likes to compare us to others and wants to make our country like them. Foreign countries today have many problems so we should make our country like theirs along with the problems. To that I say a resounding no.

Many of the values which we hold dear both as a country and as an individual were included in the Constitution when it was written. Those who came to this country in the beginning were looking for a better life for themselves and their families. Many of the values discussed below are under attack and we need to fight for them so they are not lost in the battle. Freedom of religion is one value that is constantly under attack from individuals and groups and they are supported in some cases by decisions of our justice system. Individuals and families who came to this country when it began were looking for a better life for their families and they were looking for freedom to practice their religion.

Our country has come a long way but recent efforts in the past few years have tried to take our country backwards by restricting our expression of our religious beliefs. It is a slap in the face of those who help found this country and instilled this value in our Constitution. It was an important value of life then and it is an important value of life today. Granted there are those who may not have any association with religion and that is there choice but they should not prevent those who do from expressing their religious beliefs. One example is the display of the Ten Commandments. Many of the commandments are actually backed by laws and yet because they are being displayed in this manner it is offensive. Individuals do not have to look at any displays of religious expression if they are offended but they should not hamper others who enjoy the expression of religious beliefs. In addition using the phrase Merry Christmas in many businesses has changed to the phrase Happy Holidays. We as individuals and business owners should have the right to say Merry Christmas and not be forced to use a different term for fear of offending others.

Another value is the rule of law. Laws are passed at local, state and government levels and those who are tasked to enforce them should enforce them. There are certain responsibilities given various levels of government through the applicable Constitutions. The federal government in the Constitution has specific responsibilities and authority and some laws that are now on the books violate those responsibilities. Granted there are some laws associated with responsibilities which the government has taken own that are appropriate and should be followed. There are however laws and regulations which impinge on state and local responsibilities in violation of the Constitution and states have a responsibility to protect the enforcement of those laws and regulations within their respective borders.

The overreach of the federal government has created a nullification movement in several states with respect to laws that have been passed by Congress and signed by the President. The action nullifies the enforcement of specific laws which are deemed unconstitutional based on

the responsibilities of the federal government in the Constitution. One point to also make is that the federal government does not have the resources to enforce all federal laws. It takes the actions of states to enforce them. State laws cannot violate federal law but they can add additional requirements within their borders. The nullification movement and the laws passed in a number of states do not constitute a violation since the laws referenced are an overreach of federal government responsibility and authority.

The next two American values are a critical component of our country. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech have been under attach in some respects when individuals say or print things others do not like as it disagrees with their perspective on the topic. It does not matter if it what is printed or verbally stated is the truth it still receives attacks. If the media or at least some of it does not like statements made by individuals they only present information related to their point of view which presents a totally different perspective. This action taints the information or statements being made to influence the viewpoint of the public. America is waking up with regards to the actions of specific media coverage as was witnessed by the reaction to the debate questions and focus by CNN on a recent GOP debate.

Another value we have is helping those in need. We are a generous country not only for those who need help after a disaster. It does not matter whether it is in our own country or another we have always been there both financially and physically in some cases. This type of response is not only an American value it is a characteristic of who we are as a country. The value of equality is also an important characteristic of our country. Equality is a subject that has been discussed a number of times in the news. Individuals who do the same jobs whether it is a man or a woman deserve the same pay and while there are those organizations that provide this equality there are those who have a different pay scale dependent upon whether you are a man or a woman. This is a value which needs to be worked on as a country and/or as a business owner.

The values of individualism and independence along with mobility are part of the fabric of our country. It is human nature to be independent not dependent but this has been impacted by the actions or inactions of government. There are more people now dependent upon government handouts than ever before. Government should provide benefits for those who cannot provide for themselves but those who are physically able to work should do so rather than be dependent on the government to survive. When the amount of funds being received by those on welfare or other government funds make more than working in a job the value or characteristic of independence and individualism is impacted.

Another value is our freedom to decide if we want to own a firearm which is also now under attack in response to the recent terrorist attack in California. Americans have the right to own a firearm or not according to the Constitution. Attacks on the freedoms we have in the Constitution are a slap in the face of those who settled this country. Taking action which will not solve issues in this case is the wrong approach. Government needs to look at what gaps were involved in letting terrorist obtain the weapons used in California and fix them to prevent or reduce the possibility of terrorist attacks. It is true that not all terrorist actions can be prevented but if government can make the right decisions to reduce the possibility of them they need to do so and avoid taking our rights away which were fought for by those who found this country.

Overall we have many freedoms in this country and when they are under attack by individuals, organizations and/or government we should let them know we will not accept actions taking away or restricting our freedoms. The American values in this article may not include others which we should hold dear and protect them from government interference not only in the rights we have engrained in the Constitution but the values which those who came to this country were seeking. Many of the values identified in the Constitution are under attack and we as individuals should fight to prevent their elimination or reduction of their use.

Congress and the President have the responsibility to protect our rights under the Constitution and if they do not live up to their responsibilities we must voice our displeasure through our votes come election time. The upcoming election will be a critical juncture for our country. We must let those who represent us at all levels of government that we no longer will accept the status quo. The direction of our country needs to change and change will only come through our votes. Individuals who fight to protect our rights under the Constitution need to be reelected if they are running to keep their seat. Those who only care about their political party not the American people need to be replaced. Our freedoms need to be protected by those who we elect to represent us not attacked through legislation.


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