I have a deep respect for both Lynne and Victoria for their contribution and particularly their professional tone on the emotional issues which surround the FATCA debate, particularly the highly charged issue regarding the possibility of renouncing US citizenship, in part as fallout from FATCA.
I also highly commend to everyone, particularly our dear friends to the north, Victoria’s piece on the Franco American Flophouse published July 25, 2013. "On Being An American." I trashed a draft blog of my own "on being an American" which I was struggling with before the Fourth of July. I was searching for words to express the feeling Victoria captured so eloquently below which I am sure has resonated with Americans abroad.
Here is what Victoria said,
I had an epiphany the other day. I may have spent most of my adult life outside the U.S. but I was born and raised here in Seattle. No one can take away the first 20 years or so of my life. I am an American and will always be one even if I decide to forgo the pretty blue passport. Cutting ties by relinquishing/renouncing will mean cutting my ties to a political community but here's the kicker: America is so much more than that. There is a nation beyond the government and perhaps it's time to start putting the people above the state. Yes, if I renounce I would no longer be an American citizen, but I would still be an American by culture, blood, language, and inclination. I am part of the collective memory of this country and no one on this planet (not the US Congress or the President or the home landers) can take that away from me.
There is a 500 pound gorilla in the room which has lost the peoples’ focus in this age of surveillance and enhanced security. As Peggy Noonan noted in the Wall Street Journal on June 14, 2013: "
The price [of that enhanced security] is "a now formal and agreed-upon acceptance of the end of the last vestiges of Americans’ sense of individual distance and privacy from the government."
American hegemony is not the issue and the government really isn’t smart enough for us to consider this mess anything close to a conspiracy.
To read the "FATCA: ‘Simple premise’ gone terribly wrong" article published in The Hill’s Congress Blog, please go to: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/313775-fatca-simple-premise-gone-terribly-wrong .