Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pondering

This is the only country in the world  that I can think of where anyone can be or become an American.  It's a way of life, not a nationality, and that may be it's greatest strength;  in any other country you can become a citizen, but never a nationality. 
I can get German or Greek or French citizenship, but I will never become German or Greek or French, just by having citizenship papers. When I identify myself as to origins, I never say "American' I say "half French Canadian, part Dutch, part Irish".   Even our first citizens, the Native Americans, define themselves by tribe, or nation. 

To my mind, that's pretty cool.

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I wonder why people are so surprised when the bottom falls out of the ecomonic laundry basket.  It happens every thirty years or so,  in a boom-and-bust fashion, and has been doing so for a very long time.  You would think by now we'd know enough to be prepared for it,  or at least not be surprised when it happens again. 




4 comments:

  1. Sigh, if only your first para were true of experience such as mine. citizen for over fifty years and still reminded now and then that I am not really one of us because I wasn't born here. Repeatedly asked where are you FROM? by people I predated on this continent by decades. Oh well. I never expected it to be easy. Even told, well you can't change your nationality, only your citizenship.

    And then I go and do something useful and feel better.

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  2. well, you probably do have a tinge yet of accent. Sometimes people are just curious about that. I was born in this state, my parents were from Massachusetts, and my mother from Canada. And anyone 'native' to NH can spot me in a flash as being 'from away".

    But you are, in the eyes of the law and anyone with two eyes to see, an American. Not just a citizen, but an American.

    I think what I was aiming for, was the idea that this country is such a collection of nationalities, there is no one 'true' nationality that is American, since except for Native Americans, we are all, at one point or another 'from away'.

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  3. You're forgetting about Canada, Australia, and other nations largely populated by immigrants and their descendants. Of course, BY DEFINITION,
    this is the only country where anyone can be or become an American.

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  4. this is true. However, I would never call myself Australian, or Canadian (except for the half that can). I might become a citizen there, but there would be a dividing line, at least in my mind and probably in others' minds as well, as to the difference, subtle though it may be.

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