See if you can guess who said the following:
“There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all.”
- Donald Trump
- Hillary Clinton
- Barack Obama
- Joe “The Villages” Biden
- George W. Bush
Who was it? You didn’t get the right answer. Trust me. Here’s more of the same speech to help you figure it out:
“This is just as true of the man who puts “native” before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance.”
“But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.”
You’re still wrong.
“The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English- Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian- Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality than with the other citizens of the American Republic.”
“The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American.”
This speech was given in 1915 by Teddy Roosevelt. The more I read about the man, the more I admire him. I wish we could very much do away with the use of hyphenated-American and just go back to being Americans.