It’s my anniversary

February 11, 2016:- It was 14 years ago today that I renounced my loyalty to Her Britannic Majesty, swore true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, and became a naturalized citizen. I was then, and am now, immensely and intensely proud to be an American.  Among the many reasons for that pride I offer you this one: To acquire citizenship I did not have to pledge fealty to an individual, an idol, or an “ism,” but had to ascribe to a set of legal principles that define and disperse political power, i.e. the Constitution.

With citizenship of this free, self-governing republic came the right to vote and run for office.  With one party poised to nominate for the presidency a vaudeville barker with poujadiste tendencies, and the other party offering a choice between a mendacious kleptocrat and a socialist who detects a causal connection between childhood poverty and the abundant range of under-arm deodorants, this may seem an odd moment to relish the franchise. But having a share in the responsibility for electing the next head of state — and commander in chief of a country against which the most depraved collection of misogynistic, anti-semitic homophobes is waging jihad — is an honor.  So particularly in these often dolorous days, I rejoice in my membership of a society worth fighting for, and sign off with a quote from John Stuart Mill:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse… A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.

 

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