From Patriots to Expatriatesby Brian LaSorsa
Jul. 22, 2012
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Immigrants in the early 20th century celebrated US citizenship. The threat of illness, death, and separation from their wives and children failed to deter these Europeans who fled their home countries for the promise of a better future.
To them, the United States was a safe, free haven distant from the brutal tyrants and collectivist academics across the Atlantic. My ancestors knew that Ellis Island was the beginning of everything they'd ever wanted. Angelo LaSorsa put one foot on the ground and realized immediately that he had, as H. L. Mencken was to put it, "won a small precarious territory from the great mob of his inferiors." And he flourished. He saw New York as innocent ground, not yet soiled by the likes of Wilson and the latter Roosevelt.
Unfortunately the Statue of Liberty's invitation--its call for "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses"--transformed into a national pastime. The tired remained in bed. The poor stayed in poverty. The huddled masses continued huddling. And the country deteriorated. The population forgot its past. It began to believe that this newfound freedom was merely an idle state to be enjoyed instead of something to be vigilantly defended.
"Nothing is so frustrating as being grouped together with a bunch of bumbling fools who insist you're all brethren."