Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Back from Michigan

I ran up to Ann Arbor to spend a few hours with a friend. Good talk, good food. Enjoyed it very much; maybe I should have let her talk more. Oh well, I have my vices. Anyway, the thing that occured to me even on this brief trip (about three hours each way) is the same thing I thought about when I rode my bike through Pennsylvania (until I got to DC), and I guess it’s always the same idea: What an absolutely remarkable country. It is full of interesting people, all working and moving about, doing things. Then when you sit a spell with them, as I did in a diner over coffee, they tell you the truest things, with optimistic abandon. Almost none of such folk is goofy--you really have to approach a college suburb to find one--and they are always a very inventive, even in their speech. And the older they are the more the natural music of the language comes through, since most young people haven’t heard the language enough to allow their mouth to imitate the rhythm. Anyway, you Americans are a nice bunch. In Europe I always pay attention to the buildings, here only to the people and their work. There is cause here, of course. I have always liked this from Mark Twain: "We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty."

Discussions - 2 Comments

You bring up a beautiful and quite true point and I couldn’t agree with you more. It only takes a trip to my birth state of Wisconsin to remind me of such things and to appreciate their decidedly peculair vernacular.

I comment, though, to post another point. That is your use of "you Americans." As much as you (Dr. Schramm) should like to distance yourself from such a thing you are quite truly more American than most. For it is not the counrty of birth or ethnicity that makes one an American (such ideas are foolish and European), but the soul of the man and the virtues and ideals that dwell in that non-carnal form that make one an American. By such lofty qualifications you are indeed an American.

To Allan Carey: Thank you. Of course, I agree. Just playing with "you."

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