The American Faith
To the Editor:
Professor Boorstin’s provocative article in your April issue (“Our Unspoken National Faith”) needs a good deal of clarification.
The American nation is of course very young, but the American people are as old as any other people on this planet. The past of the Old World is also their past. There are no ruins in North America, to be sure, but the ruins and monuments of Europe, Africa, and Asia are our ruins also. . . .
The Federal Constitution, like the state organic laws, has been amended repeatedly and significantly by reinterpretation of terms, and not merely by the adoption of formal and explicit formulas. Wilson’s New Freedom was liberal, as Beard asserted, and the New Deal which the conservatives denounced in scathing language is not being repealed. It has come to stay—and to develop. Socialism is clearly indicated as the next economic and social order. In Europe, socialism is certainly not of the “creeping” kind; here it is more gradual and less deliberate. . . .
We need more democracy and more collectivism, not less. As Dr. Conant has said, we need an American variety of contemporary radicalism, and we are getting it. We are effecting revolution by evolution, because we are practical in our idealism and congenitally pragmatic. Our national faith is not really unspoken. All our great presidents and statesmen have spoken it. We stand for the maximum freedom, equality of opportunity, justice, and rational mercy.
Victor S. Yarros
La Jolla, California