ON-Lion Letter
In early June, the Bradley Project on America's National Identity released its report, E Pluribus Unum -- the product of a two-year study involving a number of the nation's leading public intellectuals, policy experts, academics, educators, and opinionmakers. 

"[W]e could face a future in which most Americans will not be proud of their country, and will allow fellow citizens to have competing allegiances to other countries," according to E Pluribus Unum's introduction.  "A nation whose citizens no longer feel national pride or a unique allegiance to their own country is a nation that has lost its sense of national identity, and perhaps its will to survive.  This is an identity crisis."

The Bradley Project calls for a national dialogue on America's national identity.  Its E Pluribus Unum examines four aspects of American life crucial to American identity:  historical memory, civic education, assimilation, and national security.

According to Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough, the report is "the clearest, most powerful summons yet, to all of us, to restore the American story to its rightful, vital place in American life and in how we educate our children.  It couldn't be more timely and important."

To inform its work, the Project commissioned a Harris Interactive survey of Americans' views on national identity.  The good news is that most U.S. citizens believe there is a unique national identity that defines what it means to be an American.  The troubling news is that six in 10 believe our
national identity is getting weaker.

"Even more troubling," according to E Pluribus Unum, "is that younger Americans -- on whom our continued national identity depends -- are less likely than older Americans to believe in a unique national identity or in a unique American culture.  Indeed, 45% of 18-to-34-year-old Americans believe that international law should trump the U.S. Constitution in instances where there is a conflict between the two.

"The findings from the report are sobering and significant," said Bradley Project executive director Rick O'Donnell.  "They raise subjects that are vital to our future, transcend partisanship, and clearly resonate with the American people.  Our intention is that the report be the starting point for
a national conversation on these important issues."
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