What is the United States of America now?

woman blue eye in close up with the flag of USA n in iris with wind motion. video concept
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What is this country, this entity, this thing we call the United States of America?

Is it a beacon of light for the rest of the world, a land of opportunity and liberty? Is it truly a place where the wrecked refuse from endless realms come to breathe free?

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Is it a reality, or is it a dream unfulfilled?

Is it a cruel myth, a false idol to lust after as panting greyhounds chase the elusive counterfeit rabbit around a fateful track?

A discarded flag reading
Alex Gakos /

Is this thing we call the United States of America invincible? Is it a never-ending experiment, or does it have a defined shelf life, a do-not-use-after date?

Is it special or is it unique? And is it “exceptional,” as so many claim? Or are they simply hyperbolic or, worse, merely deluded?

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump clash with police officers outside of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021.
Alex Gakos /

Whatever this thing we call the United States of America has been, and whatever it is now, “We the People” of this nation must together decide what we want to be going forward.

Trump supporters staging a takeover of the U.S. Capitol
Trump supporters staging a “takeover” of the U.S. Capitol Shutterstock

In fact, we must backup and first ask ourselves whether we want to go forward or, rather, do we wish to languish in the mire of our unresolved and, for many, unexamined past.

Socrates told us that “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

U.S. Capitol Police with guns drawn stand near a barricaded door as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.
Alex Gakos /

On the larger and collective level, I say that an unexamined nation has no future. The ghosts and undercurrents of the past will sweep that nation away, back, preventing it from creating or even imagining any further history.

Throughout the lifespan of this relatively young country, many fault lines have surfaced. Others, meanwhile, have yet to be exposed.

How we decide where we are to go from here will determine whether we can survive the next major earthquake.

Pro-Trump protesters wave banners during clashes with Capitol police during the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C., U.S., Jan. 6, 2021
Alex Gakos /
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