becoming a citizen (despite being a citizen)



A recent Atlantic magazine editorial posed this question … what if everyone had to take an exam before they were given citizenship?


… even if you were actually born in the country?


Oh my.

That is an interesting question.

I tend to believe all citizens of any country assume some natural rights solely because they were born in that country.

They should … and they shouldn’t.

I believe they have rights of culture. Their roots in family and community and all the cultural aspects of what has been wrung out of life by their particular ancestors.

They don’t in that we should have to earn what our forefathers wrung out of Life for us <they are not our ancestors but in today’s nomenclature … influencers of our culture>.

I assume some could argue that our education system indoctrinates us in some way to be citizens.

Some will certainly argue.


Maybe. Some aspects do and some don’t.

But that is an argument for another day.

Today it is simply about proving you are worthy of citizenship.

I like the idea of people having to prove they are worthy.

Being a citizen is not only a privilege … but it also assumes some responsibility.

At minimum a responsibility to understand what you are part of.

At maximum it is real involvement of what you are part of.

All that said.

Take the test.

Be honest with yourself.

I will honestly admit I was scared shitless to take the test. Worse than the feeling I had before my driver’s license test.

What if I failed?

I imagine the test is all about what Enlightened Conflict stands for.

Enlightening yourself.

The conflict of truth … regardless of how harsh it may be.

The curiosity to move forward.

The desire to overcome ignorance <no matter how embarrassing it may be>.

Testing character <character of self … and character of country>.


Here you go:


<The Atlantic>: To become a citizen of the United States, naturalizing immigrants must take a test. Many native-born Americans would fail this test. Indeed, most of us have never really thought about what it means to be a citizen. One radical idea from the immigration debate is the repeal of birthright citizenship—guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment—to prevent so-called anchor babies. Odious and constitutionally dubious as this proposal may be, it does prompt a thought experiment: What if citizenship were not, in fact, guaranteed by birth? What if everyone had to earn it upon turning 18, and renew it every 10 years, by taking an exam? What might that exam look like?


global citizen

By the way.

I became a citizen.


But only with a score in the 30’s.

How embarrassing. <very>.

I got no/minimal points for being involved and my knowledge of Supreme Court and some factoids were scattered.

Once again.

How embarrassing.


I tend to believe I should be better <at many things>.

But at least I know where my ignorance resides.




I would hope to have been a better citizen.

Written by Bruce