Are You Really a U.S. Citizen?

My son gets upset with me for getting upset over things I cannot control.

Particularly any news to do with the Trump Administration. He feels it is futile and all that counts is voting to get Trump out in 2020. Unlike his mother, he spends no time foaming at the mouth about the latest Trumpian outrage trending on Twitter. Or tweeting at anyone and everyone about it.

Today it is on his behalf I am angry. And on behalf of the service members whose children born overseas in future who will not be automatic U.S. citizens, even though their parents are.

My son is a military baby born at a hospital on a U.S. military base. I am myself a veteran, and was at the time of his birth a military spouse. My ex and I are both U.S. citizens.

I have nephews born on U.S. military soil in Germany and at home. I am wondering how many G.I.s who brought home wives and children from places like Korea, Germany, Vietnam, Japan, etc. are feeling like I do at the moment: incredulous that the Commander-in-Chief of our military has such contempt and disdain for those who have and will serve. Because I have to wonder: if the Trump Administration will go this far, what’s to stop it from retroactively saying children of service members previously born overseas are now no longer citizens?

Don’t think it could happen? Seriously, don’t put it past Trump or the follicle-challenged Stephen Miller.

How can you claim to love this country, but not its citizens who serve it?

Isn’t that what GOP politics is supposed to be about: God, country, family and apple pie?

I used to think it was. I voted for that for decades. But as with many of my most important relationships, I didn’t recognize I was being lied to.

With the men in my life, I have come to accept I was lousy at picking them. If they were charming and sociopathic, I was a sucker for them.

But I didn’t see it in the GOP until the time of Trump. I bought into the whole Americana vision – of all the things I wanted for my child that I didn’t have growing up.

But it was all built on lies. When your own country can send you into battle but your valor isn’t enough to ensure your children have your birthright – it’s all a lie, isn’t it? It would be like telling the Jews in Egyptian captivity that they could never become Israelites after 400 years of slavery.

So, the entire premise of who we are as citizens of a Republic built on a democratic vision is a falsity.

At least in the eyes of Donald J. Trump.

In the end, if you one day cannot trace your lineage to the Trump family, as people in the Mayflower Society so snobbishly trace theirs to those who landed at Plymouth Rock, you may find yourself not a citizen at all.

That may sound preposterous. So was the idea that U.S. military serving abroad could have children who were not considered citizens of our nation.

Right now it is all about the soil. But one day it could be about the blood as well.

babies feet selective focus photo
Photo by Daisy Laparra on

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