All this is what it means to be an American.

Independence Day offers us reason to celebrate and to reflect what it means to be free.  Looking to the revolutionary times of the late 18th century, we see a society where, for the first time in human history, the “common man” came to seize power from his aristocratic oppressors.  Today though, we should be looking beyond the “common man”.  We should all be uncommon.

In 1954, a politician named Dean Alfange published “An American Creed” in The Week magazine. Alfange was very liberal, but served in Republican and Democratic administrations and also worked for the American Labor Party and the Liberal Party.  The fact that 70 years ago, a man with whom the Tea Party Movement would find little in common with could write a creed so powerful tells us much about how far the left has moved from American values.

Here is his creed in its entirety:

“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon. I seek to develop whatever talents God gave me—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any earthly master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say – ‘This, with God’s help, I have done.’ All this is what it means to be an American.”

This Independence Day, let us renew our commitment to be uncommon.  Develop our talents.  Take risks.  Dream.  Build.  These are truly American traits that built this country.  These are traits that are uncommon, but which, as Americans, we are free to practice.  Enjoy the fireworks and the parades and the hamburgers, but, most of all, let’s hope that we can all re-commit to American values.  If we can do this, then we can fulfill the promises of July 4, 1776.


In Liberty,
Ken Mandile
Senior Fellow
Worcester Tea Party