It was an object of amusement for the European upper classes that someone might ever freely choose something other than blut und boden. The United States is different. What is it to be American? It is a mental act, a choice. All it takes is to believe in our credo:
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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.This is a revolutionary idea, which is perhaps unique in the World's history. And while the old European upper classes ("The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable," in Oscar Wilde's perfect bon mot) tittered at this American credo, it attracted the most enterprising and adventurous souls from around the world, and built the greatest power ever seen on the globe - one that saved Europe from itself not once, not twice, but three times during the past century.
On this day of infamy, we welcome a new adventurous soul to our land. Mrs. Paul, Dammit has just sworn her oath of citizenship. She has embraced our credo, which makes her fully American.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.Amen. And welcome, Citizen. And a note to my readers, you might stop by Paul's place to leave your own regards.
America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson