The Arizona Idea

By Janet Napolitano

The American idea evokes the concept of frontier, from the physical challenges confronted by the Native Americans to the fear of the unknown experienced by those who first crossed the Atlantic, the Appalachians, the Great Plains, and the Rockies to arrive one day at the shores of the Pacific.

Return to:

The American Idea
Scholars, novelists, politicians, artists, and others look ahead to the future of the American idea.

Today, we face a new frontier—one of change and growth, of new ideas and information. This modern frontier also encompasses a sense of endless personal possibility, unconstrained by color, background, religion, caste, or any of the myriad labels we humans use to dehumanize each other. The enemy of the American idea is the small, the petty, the bigoted. The future of the American idea is the frontier notion that with our talents, our skills, and our brains, we can—and will—surmount any challenge put before us.

Rest assured, if you come to Arizona, you’ll find the frontier, and the American idea, alive and well here.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/11/the-arizona-idea/306318/