Citizenship

It’s interesting how something so simple can create so many problems. Who is American? What does being American mean? Who has the right to come here and become American? But there’s a deeper issue buried beneath the haze of conflict that revolves around these questions – does being American mean anything when you don’t have to do anything for it? If all you have to do is be born in this country in order to have pride of place and a right to vote then you have no motivation to be a good citizen. In fact, most people have little to no idea about the Constitution, or the Founding Fathers, or how our government is supposed to work and what their role in it is, and yet they feel perfectly entitled to spout opinions that have no basis in the fundamental laws of our land or in facts.

Birthright citizenship in a democracy has become the ULTIMATE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM. You don’t have to do or know anything, you just get to live and vote in one of the best and most free nations in the world simply because you were born here. And even when we involve ourselves in 2 wars, less than 1% of the population pays the ultimate price of actually serving in the nation’s military. Because people aren’t even willing to stand up and go to war for their country even after that nation has been attacked. There are other democractic nations that require their citizens to “buy-in” for their citizenship, nations like Israel or Norway, where their citizenry are required to do a minimum amount of national service in order to secure full rights as citizens. Unlike the Founding Fathers who fought in the Revolutionary War, there is no longer any common experience of having to actually DO SOMETHING in order to be a citizen.

Freedom isn’t free. And a nation that secures its freedom on the back of a military and civil service class who do all the work while they do nothing is a nation unlikely to maintain those freedoms in the future. It’s also a nation that will never understand why those freedoms matter. Immigrants to this country have to EARN their citizenship. They have to understand the Constitution and our laws. Frequently, they have to prove they will add value to this nation by their presence – many serve in the Armed Forces or have strict job requirements to stay here. What if everyone had to buy-in like they do? What if every single person, in order to ever have full citizenship or to be able to accrue federal benefits like social security, had to stand up and serve their nation for at least a year in some capacity? What if in order to vote, you had to take the same test every immigrant takes to earn that right, just like getting the privlege of driving? Our nation has grown soft and weak and lazy riding on the backs of the freedoms our forefathers earned for us. It’s far past time to step up and require that those who are born here do the same.

Res Publica

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