Citizenship Over Humanism
To the Editor:
Just as Peter denied Jesus when approached by the Romans or children that take the ball and return home when the game does not go in their favor, pitiful is the individual that denies their citizenship and decries their country because they don’t agree with the policies of an administration. Even worse is the person that labels their fellow citizens as racists, Nazis, etc., simply because they don’t agree with their politics.
Throughout our nation’s history, there have always been two distinct groups of citizens – those that would easily be convicted of being a citizen and those that make every effort to shield themselves from any chance of prosecution. The former are patriots, honored for their commitment to their nation. The latter are called residents, recognized for their self-serving demeanor.
Many of us who lived through the Obama and Clinton administrations didn’t appreciate the myriad of policy decisions and foibles that we suffer through – nonetheless we were still proud to be Americans. While we suffered through the scandals of the Clinton’s and the atrocious fiscal policies of the Obama’s, we were still proud to be citizens of this nation.
To be an American is to be steadfast in love of and belief in this country as good and worthy. It is to accept that our fellow citizens come in all colors, all creeds, and are either born or forged as American citizens. It means that we honor our fellow Americans regardless of whether we agree with every policy or belief they hold – we don’t loathe them for differences in opinion or policy bent.
Hypocritical are those that decry the policies of the current administration when the previous administration did the exact same thing without even a hint of protest – blame this partially on a media that was asleep during one administration and being hyper-vigilant during another administration.
As for “love it or leave it”, it is correct that this shouldn’t be the mantra of any American – for past transgressions like this, the sincerest of apologies are in order. On the other hand, pointing out that, as a citizen, your residency is not mandated, that you are not bound to these shores by force of law, that you have the right to roam the earth to seek your peace - advising someone that they may to go to another land to compare the freedoms afforded them by this nation is NOT a “love it or leave it” proposition.
The death of an individual is a terrible thing regardless of one’s citizenship. As a nation we do what is possible, short of destroying ourselves, to come to the aid of those less fortunate. It is also expected that when threatened with death, an individual does everything possible to avoid it – lack of effort to avoid death is rank idiocy, born of stupidly, laziness, a lack of caring or a combination of the three. We cannot be held responsible for those that would follow a self-destructive path to their own detriment. Being deported to fateful circumstances because one fails to seek legal residency or breaks the laws of the land while a non-citizen is tragic, but also has a foreseeable outcome – don’t blame this country for enforcing its own laws when the outcome could have been avoided by simple, individual due diligence and personal responsibility. The adage remains true: proper prior planning prevents adverse outcomes.
As a nation, our charity is vast since we have much to be thankful for, but charity is not altruism. Altruism, the giving to other at the detriment of one’s own welfare, is not a virtue – it is a selfish evil born of a need to signal one’s purity – it is foolish pride and attention seeking incarnate. When virtue signaling comes at the cost of taking from fellow citizens to achieve one’s own aggrandizement, it elevates to the level of a crime.
The United States of America is a wonderful country where citizenship, however bestowed is a privilege. It’s a precious gift to be granted citizenship. The world over, American citizenship is seen as the golden standard, the golden ticket to unfettered freedom and the unbridled pursue of prosperity. To deny one’s citizenship is abhorrent, a careless disregard of a precious gift – an act to be pitied for its stunning ignorance and loathed for its gross ingratitude.
… but fear not, you have the right to toss your gifts aside without consequence – true citizens will fight to the death to defend your right to be as foolish as you see fit.
Todd A. Leadbeater
St. Johnsbury, Vermont