It takes more than marching to gain citizenship in America

I’d rather see the United States as a beacon of good work and good citizenship, rather than No. 1 on some international educational measurement.


– Howard Gardner


You might have missed it, but last week’s May Day inspired demonstrations across the country to make American citizenship easier to gain.

They marched in Arizona and Nevada. They marched in San Francisco, as if they ever stop marching in San Francisco. They marched in Alabama and they even marched in Idaho, which probably frightened the elk.

Well, it takes more than just marching to make an American. Here’s where I come in.

I have some suggestions on how to accurately test someone’s capacity to be one of us. See how you would do.

1. If the speed limit says 55, that really means:

A. 55 km

B. 62 mph

C. 72 mph

D. 55 mph


2. The best way to express your First Amendment feelings is:

A. A finger pressed to your lips

B. A thumb in your mouth

C. A large plastic foam finger in your team’s colors.

D. Hand over your heart, as the flag passes by.


3. Favorite national sport is:

A. Hockey

B. Competitive tanning


D. Baseball


4. The next federal holiday to add should be:

A. Monday

B. My birthday

C. Dale Earnhardt’s birthday

D. Any day that falls between Christmas and a weekend


5. A legitimate tax deduction would be:

A. Money spent on recreational sports

B. Money spent on beauty products

C. Money spent on alcoholic products

D. Money spent on somebody else


6. Our national anthem is:

A. Hard to sing

B. Good Vibrations

C. Sweet Home Alabama

D. Frequently sung


Got your results? Well, here’s my analysis.

• If you answered A to most of the above, you’re almost an American. In fact, we have a word for that: Canadian.

• If you answered B to most of the above, you like to think of yourself as an American but can’t understand why most of the country doesn’t like you. Hint: It’s because you’re a Californian.

• If you answered C to most of the above, you might be what we call a Confederate-American. I’d hazard a guess your name might be Duke.

• Finally, if you answered D to most of the above, you reflect the timeless values of the land of the free and the home of the brave. You realize each day is a test of citizenship.

Let’s hope you pass.


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