I subscribe online to a small, local, online newspaper, and in each issue, there’s a poll about news or opinion pieces in that day’s paper.
One of the questions last week was based on a column titled Blue State Residents are “Real” Americans Too. So, the question was, of course, “Are blue-state residents “real” Americans?”
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of voters answered “Yes.”
However, the percentage of those who said blue state residents were “real” Americans was only 75.4%, with 12.8% saying no, they aren’t, and another 11.8% saying maybe.
Ponder that a moment, please.
A whopping 34.6% of those responding to the poll thought Americans who live in “blue states” either aren’t “real” Americans, or they just weren’t sure.
I still find it hard to believe, even if I do I live in a “red state,” meaning the vast majority of people who live here, and thus might have voted in this poll, define themselves as Republicans.
For the record, I am not a Republican, having considered myself as an Independent until our 45th president was elected. After that, I found myself unable to vote for any representative of a party who would consider him as a nominee for any position in our government.
Also, for the record, I will admit while our 45th president was in office I often referred to him as our “so-called president.” But here’s the difference between me and his supporters: I never claimed he didn’t win the election. I may have said he didn’t win the popular vote (he didn’t), but that that’s not the same thing.
Nor have I ever said his supporters aren’t “real” Americans.
How in the world is it possible that some people apparently believe they have the right to decide who is and isn’t a “real” American? And what is the criteria on which they make that decision?
Is it based on what others believe or how they worship?
On the fact that these “not-real” Americans have the audacity to speak against something the “deciders” hold dear?
How can that be correct when the freedoms of religion and speech are listed in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution?
It’s right there in the Third Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
That’s same Bill of Rights many in the “red states” hold as holy when it refers to the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Unfortunately for them, the Bill of Rights is not multiple choice, but a list of freedoms for all Americans, not just those who agree with you.
True, it’s taken some time, with the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage coming much later, and we’re still working on it, but I don’t understand how anyone can think they have the right to say someone else isn’t a “real” American.
On the other hand, South Carolina is a “red state,” and their legislators are apparently trying to outlaw websites tell people how to find an abortion, so maybe those who live in “red states (like mine) believe the freedoms of speech and religion only apply to their own.
You know from my genealogy posts that my family has been in this country a long, long time. I have many ancestors who fought in the Civil War (mostly for the Union — here’s the story of one — though at least one fought on the opposite side against his brothers). My own father served in World War II, and at least one of my ancestors (possibly more), Zackquille Morgan (my 5x great grandfather) fought in the American Revolution.
Some might think this “pedigree,” and I use the term ironically, would make me, I don’t know, a “real American?”
I disagree. I am a real American because I was lucky enough to be born in this country. The Engineer is a real American because he immigrated here and eventually became a citizen, though he is also still a British citizen. Likewise, Darling Daughter is a real American because she was born here and a real Brit by virtue of her father’s birthplace.
If you want to be pedantic about it, and apparently I do, if you go back far enough, we all came from elsewhere.
And, as an American, I believe my fellow Americans have the right to speak and believe as they choose, just as our constitution promises.
And this means neither I, nor anyone else, has the right to say someone else isn’t a “real” American.*
*I would have to say, however, it seems those who follow the constitution as it’s written might have a very, very slightly stronger claim to being a “real” American.