At yesterday's Obama kickoff rally I ran into two good friends who were wearing their Obama shirts. Dave and Patrizia are very enthusiastic supporters of Barack Obama; I've seen them at several other events, notably the huge Civic (XL) Center Rally in Hartford right before Obama won the Connecticut primary.
One of the interesting things about these two is the fact that they're both naturalized U.S. citizens. Dave is some kind of U.K. person (I think Welsh maybe?); and Patrizia (who has the throatiest voice I've ever heard on a girl; start with Natasha from "Bullwinkle" and then go a half-octave lower) is from Tuscany or somewhere thereabouts in Italy. I don't remember for sure, I just like the sound of "Tuscany".
I'm obviously not a real stickler for details or I'd be more specific about their places of origin. But what matters is how these newer voters, who made a conscious decision and put in the required effort to become citizens of the U.S., are supporting the candidate who promises change in the way things are going in America.
I think that naturalized U.S. citizens often display a higher level of outwardly true patriotism than many native-born Americans do. Not the "rah-rah" flag-waving stuff, but true concern for the path our nation is taking. Possibly that's because many times they've come here from other nations with limited economic opportunities, social injustices, or lack of religious freedoms, and they now thrive in the freedoms and opportunities that our nation offers.
Which is why, I think, they tend to want to be involved by volunteering when they see our leaders failing us. They truly believe in the promise and potential of America, and to see it squandered or misused through partisan chicanery, avarice, or simply incompetence is particularly galling. They've had to study American history and our most sacred national documents to become citizens, and that gives them a more personal perspective on the importance of our freedoms and protections than many of us, who (and let's face it, it's probably been years since we covered this stuff in school) might have trouble listing more than two or three amendments in the Bill of Rights. It only makes sense that they support a candidate who's actually studied the Constitution and obviously understands the importance of it.
So it's refreshing to see citizens like Dave and Patrizia taking an active role in helping return our land to a nation of laws, protected and enhanced by the freedoms in the U.S. Constitution.
I'm glad to have seen them yesterday.