I had a very interesting discussion at an internet cafe last night, which should be up on NRO soon. When I left the cafe, it was after 11 pm and I had not eaten all day, so I wandered over to a hotel to grab a late dinner. My waiter, who in Seinfeld terms was a “low talker,” explained that he thought that I looked like I was either Iraqi or Jordanian. He was very surprised to learn that I am American. I took this as an opportunity to explain one of the unique features about America. I stated that for all I know, I could be Iraqi, or more accurately, my grandparents may have been Iraqi. You see, my father was adopted, and the records are sealed, so we do not know the nationality of his biological parents. My father and I look very much alike, and we share what appear to be Middle Eastern features, but I cannot say what country in the Middle East, if any, provides the origins for these traits. (I did not tell him that many people in the US think that I look Jewish.) But at a fundamental level, it does not matter what my grandparents nationality is. I am an American, where it does not matter if you or your ancestors were Iraqi or Jordananian or German; once you are a citizen, you are just a plain American. Not suprisingly, my waiter wanted to visit this place.
Bravo. Bravo. Bravo.
This is a concept that cannot be repeated often enough. We are indeed very different from the rest of the world. This is the most striking example of WHY.