WHAT DO WE MEAN BY "AMERICANISM?"
It seems necessary to "explain" our use of the term, as in today's political and cultural climate a person dare not say anything good about "America" or let it be known that he loves his country, or demons from the pit with their hair on fire will scream bloody murder, and think the most horrible things about him, and perhaps viciously attack him. It is doubly deadly to say anything positive about America whilst also confessing that one is a Bible-believing Christian! That dual "crime" is really taking your life in your hands!
Frankly this writer's concern here is not to mitigate the irrational rage of sociopaths, nor certainly is it to make any apologies for love of God and Country. What moves us rather is a concern to communicate clearly, and to be understood. If that much is achieved then we are content. Let the chips fall where they may. Haters gonna hate.
Probably the most imporant thing this writer can say for clear communication's sake is that his "Americanism" is both his own "thinking" and of his own "definition." While there are certainly comparisons and resemblances between what has been called "Americanism" elsewhere by others and this writer's "Americanism" (I did not invent the wheel, nor will I undertake to re-invent the wheel), still there are characteristics of "his" that we think are "distinctive" enough to warrant being given their own hearing. So we hesitate to run too hastily to a definition.
Not that there are no good and useful definitions found in dictionaries. Here are some: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says "attachment or allegiance to the traditions, interests, or ideals of the U.S." The Collins English Dictionary says "loyalty to the United States, its people, customs, etc." This one from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary is exceptional: It says, "culture, beliefs, and behaviour that are typical of the US" and it provides the term used in a sentence. It is one of this writer's favorite dictionary findings; It says, "He was an immigrant who made it in America; Americanism was his religion." Finally Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language says "The love which American citizens have to their own country, or the preference of its interests."
Each of those says something we agree with and relate to. We see little or nothing there to differ with. Why then does this writer say he has his own definition? For one it is that those definitions fall woefully short. There is much more to this writer's Americanism than those definitions even begin to reach. They can probably set the reader here on the right course, providing a little useful framework.
Of course the visitor here could have drawn "not a little" inference from our "front entrance" or "home" page, where it was stated right up front that the writer and webmaster is a Christian, and is "all about" the Christian Faith as well as believing in this "Americanism." We suppose that the visitor, simply by sound reasoning, if he puts together the inferences that the "Christian Faith" and "Americanism" so obviously suggest, will already be off to a good start.
A caution is in order: A number of ideologies, worldviews and mindsets in history have gone by the name of "Americanism" or have been so labeled by their critics and detractors, which are not the Americanism of which we speak. In fact when this writer goes on occasional excursions through things out there labeled "Americanism" he runs into numerous particulars that he sharply differs with, and definitely would not like to be associated with. So we caution the reader not to find some supposed "Americanism" out there by a hasty "lookup" and conclude that it is what "we" are. There's probably a 99.9% liklihood of that presumption being wrong.
While this website is yet a-building, we have thought of something that might serve to give the reader here some idea of what our Americanism is "like" at least: Long ago, because this writer was in the habit of calling himself an Americanist and his "social outlook" Americanism, it understandably caught his eye when he discovered the existence of an old (1921) book of some 225 pages, actually titled "Americanism." Not that it was unusual to run across the term itself, for frankly he was quite used to seeing it in literature, and was familiar with other people's uses and meanings for the term. But stumbling across an actual book bearing that as a title was different, because it of course suggested that the contents were probably a large treatment of what that author considered "Americanism." Though interested in looking into it, we fully expected to find in it a world of differences between whatever that "Americanism" was, and our own. The author was George B. Lockwood, who in 1921 was Secretary of the Republican Party National Committee. Well instead of encountering a great many differences between the thinking of Lockwood and this writer, we found ourselves encountering a great many thoughts like our own. We aren't talking about "clones" here. The resemblances are not that extensive. But Lockwood did indeed express so many thoughts "like" our own thoughts, that this writer was moved to actually think that this book could be supplied to people for acquainting them with his own Americanism. Again, no, we're not talking about "clones." For one thing, this book was written in 1921, before the "Soviet Union" rose, and before World War II. The world was a different milieu than the one into which this writer was born. You'll find Lockwood taking about issues of his own day, like the League of Nations or the Monroe Doctrine and Presidents such as Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. Frankly, many of the matters that Lockwood treated of aren't even subjects this writer knows much about or is even interested in. Rather, what so resembles our own Americanism in Lockwood is the Americanism he exudes on every page of his book regardless of what particular social issue or problem of the day he is discussing. His thoroughly educated and knowledgable passion for the American Constitutional Republic bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers bleeds through every page of his book. The man is an impassioned patriot of the first stripe. He loves his country. And he is fully up to the intellectual task of expounding the principles of the Americanism that he means by the book's title. Neither does anyone need to read all 225 pages of Lockwood's Americanism to "get it." Honestly, just a few minutes flipping pages or jumping all around in the text will result in your going "Aha! I see! I get it!" And that is why we have put the scanned text of Lockwood's Americanism here in the website. At the start of this paragraph we said it is to serve as a shortcut to understanding our Americanism while this website is still being built. If right up front you'd like a "taste" of the "Americanism" that we mean, we recommend that you open the web page titled "Americanism by Lockwood," and just jump around in it, sample sections of it, and "get a feel for it." We think that it can rather "introduce" you to the Americanism held by the writer and webmaster of this site. Just bear in mind that we said we are not "clones" of Lockwood. Our thinking may not be identical to his on ye olde League of Nations or the Monroe Doctrine or his take on Teddy Roosevelt, but when he gets going on our beloved country America, and Americanist principles, you might hear us in the distance shouting "Amen brother! Preach it!"
Go check out Lockwood's Americanism by clicking here.