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What It Means To Be An American An examination of Walzers views of American pluralism and exceptionalism As one might deduce from the writings of Michael Walzer in his text What it means to be an American the American identity in political social historical and cultural regards is a highly complex and almost mystifying phenomenon The character of the United States of America is one of diversity a multiplicity of cultures abound in its cities interact in communities exchange values and beliefs and work side by side Though the populist notion of America as the metaphorical melting pot remains a rigourously argued point of contention Walzer believes in the plurality of America It is not a single homogeneity it represents something far greater and vastly more unique than most people academics included wish to attribute it Walzer seems to believe strongly in the compatibility of pluralism with national unity Despite the presence of hundreds of diverse ethnic groups accounting for the general and voting public the likelihood of a state maintaining its internal and territorial integrity is nevertheless very high Reflecting on the experience of past decades according to Walzer one can reasonably argue that ethnic pluralism is entirely compatible with the existence of a unified republic His vision of American pluralism is as multifaceted as is the pluralism itself Firstly Walzer argues the need to maintain the openness of immigration and to oppose government policies targeted at restricting the flow of external immigration - Americans are all immigrants and it would be wrong to permit some and turn back others secondly he suggests the need to strengthen the public school system to assist in its purpose of teaching history the democratic political system as well as the shared immigrant experience thirdly Walzer pushes the need to recognize and help nurture the sources of public political competency as well as the need for social universal health care fourthly he advocates the absolute
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