Is America still America?

I reworded the poll so it no longer prejudges the extent to which the events have happened already. One could easily claim that Christianity was decisively driven from public life, and America stopped being America, with the universal adoption of PC and multiculturalist rhetoric during the Clinton administration. If Christianity can’t be viewed as anything of general significance it’s not part of public life, and if you can’t talk about anything particular in connection with America it’s not a country, it’s an ideological concept.

There’s a personal and subjective element in questions like this, especially with regard to the choice of historical markers. Larry Auster has argued, for example, that America ceased to exist in early 1999 with the failure of the Clinton impeachment and the U.S.-led war on Serbia. Whether or not it’s possible to be so definite—Mr. Auster still calls his website “” for “American nation”—it seems clear that 1992-2000 marked the definite public conclusion of one thing and the inauguration of something very different. America has always been a decisively religious and Protestant country, for example, but a recent poll says that between 1993 and 2002 the share of Americans who said they were Protestant dropped from 63 percent to 52 percent while the number who said they had no religion—many of them former Protestants—went from 9 to 14 percent. When something like that happens so quickly with regard to something as basic as religion it means that people feel a shift in the identity of their society big enough to make them look at themselves differently. And it’s that kind of shift with respect to the most fundamental things that would justify the claim that “America” no longer refers to the same social and moral reality it once did.

2 thoughts on “Is America still America?”

  1. American nation
    The article Mr. Kalb refers to, “America No Longer Exists,” was published in the spring of 2001 and referred to the loss of the moral framework that defined America and the loss of the common will to preserve America. I said those vital elements of nationhood were gone, not that America as an organized historical entity is gone. In using “amnation”—American Nation—as my domain name I am not contradicting myself. I am basing myself on the nation that has formed us, that been destroyed to a significant extent, and that we should seek to restore. Conservatism means the attempt to preserve and restore a lost or damaged social order. And even if the old American nation is no longer recoverable at this point, we as Americans are still rooted in it both historically and as an indispensable aspect of our being, and whatever social forms we may try to build in the future would still be related to it.

    Lawrence Auster

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