Davenport: Celebrating Rugged Individualism


One lesson from the coronavirus crisis is that American rugged individualism is still alive.  While many wait for government to solve the problem, countless Americans are at work on it.

Perfume companies and distilleries retooled to make sanitizer, automakers manufacture ventilators, architects make face masks. Everything from education to funerals has reinvented.

Rugged individualism was prized on the Western frontier but is now attacked as selfish and out of date.  But when a crisis comes, we’re glad it’s there.

One misunderstanding about rugged individualism is that it stands against community, but just as pioneers traveled in wagon trains and built houses together, Americans today help one another with meals, hotel rooms, and groceries. Generosity abounds.

When the story of the Covid-19 crisis is written, rugged individualism should be a hero.