As part of Aspen Institute’s Citizenship & American Identity Program, you can list the top 10 things that every American should know.
Eric Liu kicked this off last year with an Atlantic piece on cultural literacy for a diverse America. “It’s not enough for the United States to be a neutral zone where a million little niches of identity might flourish,” he wrote. “In order to make our diversity a true asset, Americans need those niches to be able to share a vocabulary.”
His list: Whiteness, the Federalist Papers, the Almighty Dollar, Organized labor, Reconstruction, Nativism, the American Dream, the Reagan Revolution, DARPA, A sucker born every minute.
Robert Pondiscio starts his top 10 list with “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
He adds: “To form a more perfect Union,” E Pluribus Unum, “a government of laws and not of men,” “Government of the people, by the people, for the people,” “Self-Reliance,” “The chief business of the American people is business,” American exceptionalism, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” and Franklin’s “a republic, if you can keep it.”