I don't know much about Americanism, but it's a damn good word with which to carry an election.
I was looking at Quora last week, and there was a question that intrigued me: What is most American about America?
It’s a more complicated question than you might think, because “American” is one of those things that is hard to define, and the answer often says more about the person answering the question than it does about America.
I’ve been turning the idea over in my mind for a week, and I have my own answer. Spray Cheese.
Stay with me.
The inventor of spray cheese, looked at centuries of cheese making craft and tradition, and decided he could do it differently. That takes guts. It also takes a certain audacity to look at a product that is a solid and say “I can make an aerosol version of that.”
And not only think of it, but to actually do it, and convince other people that it’s a great idea. There is hardly a supermarket or convenience store in the land that does not carry some form of spray cheese.
For me it is that ability to look at a crazy idea, acknowledge that it is a crazy idea, and then do it anyway, that is the most American thing I can think of.
That is the spirit that left Europe to found the new Jerusalem, that broke with England to start its own country, that invented Punkin’ Chunkin’, the Muppets, and power tool drag racing. (If you have never been to the power tool drag races in San Francisco, go. It's a hoot.)
Crazy ideas are why the we took golf balls and a six iron to the moon (sensible people wouldn’t have wasted the space - or gone to the moon, we could already see there wasn't anything there), created art cars, and have an entire museum devoted to toilet seats.
America - making crazy ideas reality is our business.