The Myths of the Melting Pot, Tossed Salad, and the American Dream

Dec 31, 2011 by

The culture of the United States has been described as a melting pot or a tossed salad. In addition, the driving force has always been known as the American Dream. All of these descriptions are dangerous and ultimately, if perpetuated, will lead to our downfall. Each of them opposes the principles that the United States was founded on. The mistake starts with the assertion that legal immigrants bring with them all the ideas and traditions from the country they came from. If this were true, why did they leave in the first place? They left because the ideas and traditions were faulty and did not promote self-government. I am not talking about cuisine and entertainment. I am speaking about the fundamental belief in the worth of the individual, their duty to the community, and the work ethic it takes to achieve excellence.

The term melting pot conjures up a melding of traditions and cultures into one unrecognizable culture with no clear roots, traditions, and principles. Melting, in essence, dilutes the main ingredients into a new mixture made up of the sum of those ingredients. Our roots are English, our traditions are the product of 200 plus years of struggle to define self-government, and our principles are contained in the Declaration of Independence. These are the staples of the United States. This must be our culture if we are to continue the revolution. The melting pot also dilutes the importance of the individual. Individual excellence disappears into a conglomeration of mediocrity. Instead of aspiring to be individually excellent the melting pot compels all to integrate into the average and calls it equality.

A tossed salad leaves one to believe that we are individuals but not connected. To have a society with people alien to one another can never survive. What could we possibly build together, and on what foundation? Tossed together is indicative of people that do not choose to be together. We must choose to be together and that does mean to make a social contract with one another. All citizens pledge/consent to support “We the People” by either taking an oath of citizenship as legal immigrants or by being born here and remaining after our eighteenth birthday thus giving tacit consent. This is why illegal immigration is so harmful. It is impossible to start a binding relationship based on deceit and disregard for a common law and consent to the social contract is never declared.

The American Dream was originally freedom. Read the Declaration of Independence, our most important document, and you will understand the American Dream. Since the time of the founder’s understanding of the American Dream to today we have taken a path to reinvent our “telos”, an overarching principal of freedom to achieve happiness through reasoned choice ending in action aimed at the good, to the perceived happiness through unreasonable action to acquire material goods. How did we leap from individual reasoned choice to the mass hysteria of consumerism? The problem may be in the very term itself. Dreams are unrealized goals. Ambition is required to achieve these goals. Ambitious people choose the method of acquiring power or virtuous action to achieve their goals. The acquiring of power is thought to be the easiest, and most expedient way of achieving unrealized goals. Even the noble goal turns to evil with this chosen path. People who hunger for power turn to money as the most useful tool to realize their goals. They believe that money can buy anything, people, material goods, this is the corrupting force created by the desire to achieve unrealized goals through acquiring power. The life based of virtue on the other hand requires long-term commitment to a journey guided by reasoned decisions ending in rightful action and achieving excellence. Achieving excellence is perceived as more difficult but in reality it is not. All the time spent on expedient measures to acquire power and money such as deceit and manipulation could have been spent on seeking truth, and taking action in accordance with virtue, thus keeping our goals faithful to the founder’s understanding of the American Dream.


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