People obviously have multiple connections — church memberships, community groups, fraternities, ethnic associations, professional societies, etc. But one’s chief political allegiance is expressed through citizenship, through being a member of We the People — and claiming membership in two national communities is like belonging to two different religions, which means neither is accorded the respect due it.
Nonsense. Krikorian readily acknowledges that Bachmann is a patriot – twice. The fact that she has taken out Swiss citizenship makes her no less a patriot than she was yesterday.
Bachmann also finds herself in pretty good company. Albert Einstein was also a dual U.S. and Swiss citizen.
Krikorian goes on to write:
And there is no justification for such a thing when we demand that foreigners seeking to become Americans take an oath that reads, in part: “I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.”
But this represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the oath of allegiance. A person who is sworn in as a U.S. citizen does not lose the citizenship of their land of birth. While the United States does not encourage Americans to become dual nationals it does not prohibit it either.
On a personal note, those familiar with my writing will know that I was born in Canada to a mother from Alberta and a father from the Bronx – an unorthodox combination to say the least. But unorthodox or not, me and my siblings had a claim to U.S. citizenship which all of us have exercised. I must confess though that I exercised my claim later than everyone else. During my NDP days I was guilty of harboring anti-American sentiment and initially declined to take out U.S. citizenship. But by 1999, the realities of the Canadian labor market had hit me like a blinding flash and that my stubborness was both counterproductive and closed minded. I reconsidered and took the oath at the U.S. Consular Office in Ottawa. In March 2000, I moved to Boston and have been here ever since. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
UPDATE: I guess taking out Swiss citizenship wasn’t the best decision Michele Bachmann made. She has requested the Swiss withdraw her status as a citizen.
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