Essay: The Rugged Individual Rides Again

If you would win over a crowd of Americans, use the term rugged individualism; they will salute it like the flag. Why not?

Everyone always says that rugged individualism is the backbone, and the jawbone, of America; that a country as grand and sturdy as this could only have been built by the self-propelled and self-interested strivings of wild-eyed nonconformists, each fur-laden Daniel Boone pursuing his independent errand into the wilderness. The term is fairly precise. More aggressive than mere individuality, less narcissistic than the "me" decade, it does not refer to people who...

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