I love lists, where facts are jumbled together with no pretense of literary continuity. So simple!
Here is an example of the genre from the Rocky Mountain News in Denver: Things you might not know about Barack Obama (August 8, 2008).
In his early years he was known as Barry.
According to his memoirs, he admitted using alcohol, marijuana and cocaine in his youth.
His first name comes from the word that means "blessed by God" in Arabic.
At his wife's suggestion, he quit smoking before his campaign to win the Democratic nomination began.
Holds both American and Kenyan (since 1963) citizenship.
Fascinating. Has there ever been another Presidential candidate who has been a dualer? If so, I've never heard of it.
If Obama becomes President, then a self-proclaimed Citizen of the World would be in charge, and his citizenship in another country would be a sweet victory for one-worlders who think the nation-state stands in the way of global kumbaya.
For scholarly remarks on the subject of post-national loyalty, see John Fonte's fine 2005 presentation to a Congressional committee, Dual Citizenship, Birthright Citizenship, and the Meaning of Sovereignty.
At the heart of patriotic assimilation is the transfer of allegiance. For more than 200 years, immigrants have taken an oath renouncing prior allegiance and transferring sole political allegiance to the United States.
The transfer of allegiance is central to America because of the kind of country that we are. If we were a country that did not receive large numbers of immigrants, this would not be as important in practical terms. But, it is precisely because we are a "nation of (assimilated) immigrants" that we must be serious about dual allegiance.
We are a civic, not ethnic nation. American citizenship is not based on belonging to a particular ethnicity, but on political loyalty to American democracy. Regimes based on ethnicity support the doctrine of "perpetual allegiance," where one is always a member of the ethnic nation. In 1812, Americans went to war against the concept of the ethnic nation and the doctrine of "perpetual intelligence." At this time, Great Britain, under the slogan "once an Englishman always an Englishmen" refused to recognize the "renunciation clause" of our citizenship oath.
The elites may have adopted globalism as a core belief, but heartland America has not. A 2005 Rasmussen survey showed that two-thirds of citizens believe newcomers should "adopt America's culture, language and heritage." And a February Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll found 61 percent of voters preferred a President who represents "America's shared values" versus a belief in "wide diversity."
Dual citizenship is the national equivalent of polygamy, and is similarly convenient for the practitioner, who has a spare country. Not so much for those on the receiving end though, who can never be sure of their current ranking.