What Is An American?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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There is no "recipe"� for an American. No two Americans are alike. There are, however, a few things all Americans have in common. All are legal citizens of the United States. All are supporters of the democratic process. They also all are law abiding citizens and registered to vote.

Legally, to be an American, you must be a legal citizen. This is what makes an American an American. For me, the definition goes beyond that. To be a citizen, in my mind, you must go beyond the citizenship. You must fulfill certain requirements of what I call an American.

An American must be a supporter of the democratic process. You can't believe in any other form of government, such as Monarchy, Communism, etc.. This would be against the American way of life and you would not be supportive of your own country. It is almost like the expression "You are what you eat."�

Well, in this case, you are what you live in. The American way of life is democratic. There is no way of being one without the other. You must be democratic to be American.

You must be a law abiding citizen. This does not include the occasional speeding ticket. It does include, but is not limited to, kidnapping, terrorism, or theft. These crimes are all against society and shows no respect for other Americans. There is no way that you can say you are supportive of your government if you are going against it and trying to destroy the principles that it has been built on.

You also have to vote, when of legal age. If you don't vote, that shows you don't care who runs this country and what goes on in it. You then don't care about what happens to you in this country.