Saturday, November 06, 2004

Dual Citizenship

I've previously discussed that I consider myself a citizen of the world as well as a citizen of the United States. I attempt to evaluate many public policy issues from an international perspective and do my best to read the international media to gather a wide variety of viewpoints on issues.

Take the international land mine treaty ban, for instance. The current US administration opposes it and the Clinton administration opposed it on the basis that we need land mines in Korea. From a strictly US standpoint, maybe the treaty is a bad idea. But from a global viewpoint, the treaty is a fantastic idea.

While there are many great things about the US, an internationalist viewpoint is often lacking from our political discourse.

To take up a related issue, many people on the left often jokingly refer to moving to Canada or New Zealand due to political developments within the US. However, I have recently seen this response derided and mocked as "running away" from problems in the United States.

I am an American and I will continue to try to improve this country. Even if I obtained citizenship in another country, I would still retain my US citizenship. And as long as I live, I will retain my interest in the political process. The phrase running away assumes there is someplace to run to. Unfortunately the US military-industrial-infotainment complex is well nigh unavoidable these days...except maybe in the mountains along with Afghan-Pakistan border.

Actually, I think this idea that you have to physically reside in the US to play a role in the US political process is another example of American exceptionalism. The US would benefit if more of our citizens spent time abroad and gained dual citizenship.

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