Saturday, October 25, 2008

What is the 'Real America'?

At a fund raising event in North Carolina, Sarah Palin said:

"We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard-working, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation,"

As a 'Resident Alien' I've viewed this current election with amusement, scepticism and some horror. As an alien I'm not allowed to vote, so I'm not paying as close attention as maybe I would if I was a member of the electorate.

I was very intrigued by Palin's concept of 'Real America'.

What makes a real American?

Is it defined by Geography, Work Ethic, level of Patriotism and Political Ideology as Palin suggests here? Is it determined by Faith Community, Occupation, Orientation?

I have never read all of the Declaration of Independence, but I know it begins "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Surely all men (and women) are created equal, even if they differ in terms of geography, work ethic, level of patriotism and political belief. I am considering beginning the process of becoming an American Citizen at the moment. My Green Card expires in a few years and I am deciding whether to just renew it or go the next step.

Will I be a real American then? The requirements for citizenship are so stringent that when they have given the exam to Americans many of them fail.

Here are some sample questions (I can answer some of them, but not all) -

  1. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.
  2. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
  3. What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?
  4. There were 13 original states. Name three.
  5. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?
  6. What does the judicial branch do?
  7. Name your U.S. Representative.
  8. Who makes federal laws?
  9. What does the Constitution do?
  10. What is the supreme law of the land?

I posted this today because I was watching The Daily Show and saw this clip and it made me chuckle. (it's The Daily Show, so be aware some of you might find some of its humor inappropriate - you have been warned)

So, what is 'Real America'?


JennyB said...

Tribalism is everywhere! Lately it seems to me to be the source of so many evils, part of the same sin that has us drawing boxes to keep God in . . . and others out.

Bill Shirley said...

When you were a kid hiding in the closet for hide-and-seek, you couldn't be found if you kept your eyes closed. The finder wasn't real until you opened your eyes.

Some adults prefer to live their lives with their eyes closed. Palin among them.