headlines | about |

In the U.S., Ancestry Should Mean Zero

categories: | |

U.S. citizens, unlike people in many other countries, owe allegiance to a Constitution in which race, creed, color, nationality and other aspects of birth should be irrelevant. In sum:
ancestry, and even how one is raised, should mean zero. We are all meant to be equal before the law.

Therefore, it is very un-American, and very un-Constitutional, to ponder on whether two political figures in very different camps, Obama and Palin, have a common ancestral root.

U.S. citizens can discipline themselves to disregard such speculations. If they would rather not, they can think of moving to Europe. Or to where I am now, in New Zealand, where ancestry and tribe, along with royalism, are also prized.

Blame for the silly patter about Palin and Obama can be placed on... sorry to say... Barack Obama.
He ran a political campaign which denied the U.S. Constitution consistently, calling on people to vote according to race, according to ancestral background, and according to age. He had a website called "African-Americans for Obama." This flagrantly violates the Constitution. Should other candidates put up websites for "Irish-Americans," "Hispanic Americans" and so on? Obama also had a website called "Kids for Obama." With this, my then six-year old daughter could tell me to please vote for Obama, as she had "done" so on the web. Such were the tactics of Hitler Youth. Such is the attempt to appeal to what should be completely irrelevant in U.S. politics: the birth, and therefore ancestry, of a child.

Mr. Obama should rise above the gossip about whether he is related by ancestry to another politicians, but I doubt his vanity would let him. He may be too full of royalist and messianic fantasy. If not, if he recalls his citizen function, and if he remembers that his mandate at Inauguration was to uphold and defend the Constitution (not some race, not some homeland, but a Constitution), then he would, yes, tell all the people speculating about his ancestry to knock it off. He would tell them to get back to business.
As Calvin Coolidge said (sorry about the Republican voice), "The business of America is business." Not kings, queens and ancestry.

These remarks get to why I started "Meine Palin."
It's comes from a pun. I spoke of a female German friend, living in Berlin as I have, as "my pal." And I realized one day that, to be correct, I must call her "Meine Palin." I must add "-in" to "pal" to be correct in the German language. Thus began a sort of German-American discourse on affairs in the United States. This is not so off the mark, historically. Much of US history, and even anti-history, has been made by German immigrants and German influences. The Haymarket rally and then riot in Chicago were the result of German-immigrant resentments. And when people speak of German militarism in the 19th century, I like to remark that more soldiers of German birth died in the US Civil WAr than died in all of Bismarck's campaigns. Those soldiers, on both sides of the war, did not die because of their ancestry. They died because of a disagreement, still smoldering, over interpretation of States' rights within the U.S. Constitution.