Am I truly an American? Be careful in how you answer that, dear reader.

Yes, I was born in Cleveland. That means I have citizenship in the United States of America through our unique practice of birthright citizenship. That doesn’t mean I align very well in the current social circumstances.

We’re seeing very horrible tribalism arise here in the USA. You have a very religious tribe based in a cult of personality following a bombastic demagogue. You have tribes that define themselves as opposition to that tribe of cultists. Other tribes exist, too.

The social fabric is a bit frayed. I don’t really align with any of those tribes all that well. I’m certainly not part of a cult of personality that worships a coup plotter with plans for dictatorship. I’m not necessarily a “progressive” either as I disagree with some of the stances of that tribe too. While there used to be a middle ground it has slowly but surely disappeared as people have taken sides.

The third anniversary of the sacking of the US Capitol is coming up in just seven days. Have we learned anything from that event? There are still people that deny the event even happened. There are still people desperately seeking out alternate explanations for that event to be able somehow to say that it was not a coup attempt and instead some sort of deception. Having watched the attack on live television that day, I do not doubt that the situation happened.

I keep seeing a notion of “real American” propounded that is very, very far away from what I am. My great-grandfather came to this country at the start of the 20th century while Teddy Roosevelt was President. It is an exercise for the reader as to why there are no records of an entry at Ellis Island but there is record of an entry at San Francisco instead. On my mother’s side I had ancestors there to meet the English when they landed at Jamestown in 1607.

Am I truly an American? In a pre-2015 world the answer would’ve been yes as I was proudly helping keep the Machinery of Government as part of the federal government enterprise. Now, I don’t really know. There are scary times ahead. As people pick sides I’m getting stuck in the middle.