I think I completely agree with this article from The Economist that I just read. Which is saying something because I don’t agree with them on everything. I tend to like their information and analysis, but tend to disagree with their solutions. They are a center-right publication after all. But as a German-American myself, as the name Erik Schneider would indicate, an asteroid sized clue there, we do tend to go unnoticed as an ethnic group in America. And I’m not sure if that is because we’ve been in America so long. The eighteen-hundreds for a lot of us, or because we’ve accomplished so much as a people who is goes unnoticed.
The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner, the highest ranking full-time member of Congress and that includes the Senate Pro Tempore and the Vice President of the United States, is a German-American and a proud one. And a distinct one, I mean you might as well paint the German flag on his face, he looks so German. And yet you wouldn’t know it unless you are familiar with the German people and German names and physical characteristics and so-forth. We’ve created so much for this country as far as technology, food, culture, public servants, Dwight Eisenhower for example. And yet we tend to go unnoticed as a people and perhaps get taken for granted.
When Nancy Pelosi became the first Speaker of the House in America back in 2007, she was mentioned as being the first female Speaker and Italian-American Speaker. But when John Boehner becomes Speaker four years later, nothing is mentioned about him being a German-American who also happens to be the Speaker. Same thing with Newt Gingrich back in 1995. Newt was mentioned as being the first Republican Speaker elected since 1953, but not for being a German-American. And again I think this goes to the success of our people that we are expected to do well and accomplish big things. And Americans just aren’t surprised when we do.