Americans live in "ordered liberty". We appreciate our order through our Constituional government, and our liberty through the way we want to frame our reality. "Reality" is framed by the individual in personal values, and is lived out in adulthood.. Oscar Wilde said that a society was a mental construct, and this is why our culture allows for individual conscience and expression. Our laws protect our liberties and this is why we are a pluralistic society, although we have a "Judeo-Christian" influence.".James T. Ellison said it best
The real death of America will come when everyone is alike.
"Minds" are what our brains record through memory and our senses in our present reality. How we understand and interpret our reality in the present is influenced greatly by our past experiences and the "messages" that were interpreted again by our "minds". Our futures can be affected by these "messages" as they give us our expectation and impact our views of the future.
An individual's personal history is not the only reality that impacts his understanding in the present, but also his information about an objective past. Humans come to understand and interpret reality from their understanding of history. Personal history is a given, but not national, social, cultural history. These are subjects to be sought. It is a framing outside of "self", but constitutes another aspect of "self-understanding".
Our nation is exceptional because it allows for the personal, and not just a national, or cultural history. But, unfortunately, America's personal histories have overshadowed our national and cultural history. And that is a sad state for a society, because it undermines our unity, as well as hinders human development. Mikhail Gorbachev understood that unity is of necessity for a peaceful co-existence;
"Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences"
I think the greates danger, as well as our greatest blessing is our diversity, because liberty does not protect our national or cultural interests. And our emphasis on individuality has also hindered our understanding of ourselves as "a people". I have hope that the 'Tea Party" movement will bring about a more engaged and informed citizenry. And that through our realization of our diversity, we will come to appreciate the need for unity, for our nation and our own future hope.