(…from too much emphasis on …pluribus…and not enough on…unum?)

Everyone is familiar with the biblical story explaining the diversity of languages in this world…when human hubris attempted to build a towering structure high enough to reach the heavens, and since that was not pleasing to the lord thereof, humans suddenly found themselves struck with such a multitude of tongues, a babble of languages, they could no longer communicate with each other and thus unable to cooperate to go forward with that construction. This particular biblical tale seems to have a very strong relevance to what has been going here in America in recent times with the politically correct-driven emphasis on its diversity composed of just about every racial, ethnic, national, and religious, origin on earth, each with its own language and cultural heritage…a true “babble” of tongues. How then has it been possible for it to not only construct the “tower” of its society but also sustain it as long as it has?

The answer lies with America’s national motto –E Puribus Unum- (from many… one) which until recent times was the guiding mantra for gathering and assimilating all those disparate components to blend them into a new linguistic and cultural heritage called… America…and the means used to glue all that babble together has been composed of two things: 1) A set of laws common to all, derived from the Constitution, and, 2) A language common to all which, by an accident of history, became its version of English. These are the critical elements that keep such a polyglot and poly-cultural society together. Without either of these it would simply collapse.

Thus, our continuing with too much emphasis on…pluribus…and not enough on…unum, may ultimately be the undoing of America. Our current spasms of over-emphasizing our diversity by insisting  we accommodate the babble of tongues that derive from that, at the expense of the unifying principle that was its genesis…are sowing the seeds of its dissolution.

Many of us are fortunate enough to have a bi-lingual and mixed heritage. All of us share multiple heritages as well, and all of us are proud of having these. But if we are to be truly part of the broader encompassing heritage of being – American – then we must not only accept but ensure that it takes precedence over all of these. So it’s time now that we made a serious effort to reset our thinking about who and what we are as a people, as a society, and begin to think and speak of ourselves in that vein, setting aside all our individual cultural and linguistic claims, to acknowledge we are all Americans…first, and something else… second.