TALES OF A PROFESSIONAL FOREIGNER
BY DAVE MANGENE
STILL PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN
…When I was a young man, I ran away from America. It wasn’t political or economical or anything like that. I just had to go, so I came to Europe.
As of today, I’ve been outside of the USA for more than half my life: 25 years and counting. But the cliche is true: you can take the boy out of America but you can’t take America out of the boy. I still feel as American as the day I left and I often find myself daydreaming about what my next life in America could be.
Where would I go?
What would I do?
Would the country still be recognizeable?
Would I still feel American?
Impossible to say. And there’s only one way to find out.
Despite all the turmoil in America these days, all the negativity, I still believe the American experiment is the most exciting game going. I’m still inspired by the idea of starting a brand new country, half way across the world, based on a set of ideas agreed upon by a group of entrepreneurial pioneers. Very few people have ever tried that, let alone tried it and created something as vibrant and beautifully imperfect as the behemoth that is America. I shall forever continue to be a proud American.
Having said that, there is one aspect of American culture that I just cannot accept. In fact, it makes me feel shame. Guns. I don’t care what the N.R.A., or pro-gun people argue, our gun policies make no sense. They just don’t. We’re the only “civilized” nation that has mass shootings at this rate. It’s disgusting.
I will never come to terms with guns in America and, sadly, I’m not sure it will ever change. I fucking sure hope so, but I’ll tell you this in all honesty: I’m glad my sons are being raised in the Netherlands. It feels safer somehow…