It’s ironically bad timing for Umair to write such an assertion about America on Presidents Day when perhaps the most famous phrase of the one of the greatest presidents directly refutes what he is asserting. How we wish he had opened the book when he took American history.
America was defined by Lincoln as “a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. This harkens back to the central truths of the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. The French Revolution and the ideals of Liberté, Égalité, and Fraternité were inspired by and historically derived from the principles of the American Revolution.
No one can honestly say America has lived up to all those ideals, but it is sheer ignorance of American history to fail to see that the principle of equality is a fundamental American ideal. From the start, America rejected titles, landed gentry, kings , nobles, aristocracy, castes, and its history is a saga of struggles expanding equality. A war was fought to end slavery, an Amendment was passed to guarantee equality and due process under law, the right to vote was extended, and civil rights bills were passed. The standard American concept of freedom embodies fair treatment. Of course there is a disparity between the actual world and the high ideals. But Umair misses the thrust of American history when he denies that America views itself as an experiment in government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.