Sunday, October 19, 2008

America's Future

American Faces
New Citizens

Van Tran, California Assemblyman

Route of Human Expansion
This Sunday was a time for catch up for me. I just finished voting via absentee ballot and in an unrelated task, sent in my DNA sample to the Genographic project sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

.Then I read Tom Barnett's column and I though how it related to the two tasks above.

Thomas Barnett leads off this Sunday with a optimist column that should give every American a greater understanding of our role in the world.

He begins:

As our financial crisis unfolds, Americans suffer a serious bout of existential ennui. Unsure of whom we are or our global role anymore, our self-doubt scares the world in near-equal measure. Predictably, both skeptics at home and challengers abroad tell us that we must get used to this post-American world. My advice is to resist these sirens' song.
From the perspective of grand strategy, such pessimism is unwarranted: just as our international liberal trade order -- known now as globalization -- encompasses the near-totality of the planet, vastly outreaching all previous attempts to establish a global order and doing so in a manner that both enriches and empowers individuals, too many Americans feel alienated from this world so clearly of our creation.

Dr. Frankenstein should recognize in this alleged monster the sum of his ambitions.

....As such, the proximate causes of our angst are readily identified: we've taken in a record number of immigrants in recent years, giving us a relatively high percentage of foreign-born residents, and we're suffering a magnificent economic correction. In the past when such conditions have met, we've isolated ourselves from a "chaotic" world, painfully attempting to transform our decidedly blended identity into one uniformly organic -- as in, "real" Americans.

Read the whole column:

Post-Caucasian world hardly post-American world

In my own local area, the changes that Tom Barnett describes has taken major purchase. For example, Vietnamese Americans, in the span of a generation are entering politics and assimilating at a rate almost unseen in our history. Orange County, California, bastion of conservative politics and the butt of jokes about it's perceived WASPist demographics, is now seeing the inclusion of Asian Americans in positions ranging from school boards, councilpersons, county supervisors, to the state legislature. Vietnamese American politicians are coming of age in Westminster ... This is just a micro look at what is happening and will happen across our land.

Like Tom's column points out with this excerpt:

...America has always been a land to which strangers came for re-invention, for we choose our family instead of merely accepting what tradition mandates. We have abandoned homelands and clans, married outside of race and class, and swapped religions with a unique urgency. The chance to be born again is the quintessential American right -- the pursuit of happiness individually defined.

I have written several posts defining my own experiences with the world, beginning with my service in Vietnam over 40 years ago, and re-examined during my passage to my current avocation. That conclusion is the importance of recognizing our strength as a country is in our ability to assimilate almost everyone into a nation of volunteers. A Resilient Nation.

If anyone needs further convincing of the fact that we are all cousins, you are invited to take the challenge and sign up for the National Geographic Genographic project. The great advantage is as American Cousins we have chosen on our own to be a family. And for those who are dissatisfied with the family and want to leave, unlike some places the express freedom of choice in America, allows the option to move. Although, it is better to stay and try and effect change in an environment that allows for change.

It is simple, and worth the fee to trace your genetic family tree back to it's source in Africa over 60,000 years ago. For those who are hesitant to accept this for creationism reasons, consider this. According to the data collected thus far, all people living today can be traced back to a single surviving genetic marker mother who lived in Africa about 100,000 years ago. Those whose roots can be traced back to other parts of the globe can trace their tree back to a single women and man living in Africa about 60,000 years ago. Don't take my word for it. I urge you to visit the link above and if you feel the need to know, plunk down the fee and swab your cheeks, send in the sample and await the results. It will be a fascinating journey!


Sean said...

cool! i've been thinking about swabbing, but don't think i want to drop the 100$.

but do post about your results, ok? maybe i'll get more inspired or be able to convince Christine! :-)

historyguy99 said...

Thanks for the comment. I will be posting when I get the results. It took a while to convince my wife that we should part with a buck, but I used the it's for historical research arguement, and if flew....