December 3, 2008

"Obama has packed his staff with so-called 'Third Culture Kids' —people who grew up outside the U.S."

"[T]he classic profile of a 'TCK' is someone with a global perspective who is socially adaptable and intellectually flexible. He or she is quick to think outside the box and can appreciate and reconcile different points of view.... 'Third Culture Kids' share certain emotional and psychological traits that may exert great influence in the new administration. But TCKs can also feel rootless and detached. The great challenge for maturing Third Culture Kids is to forge a sense of personal and cultural identity from the various environments to which they been exposed."

29 comments:

ricpic said...

Bottom line: they have absolutely no allegiance to their (nominal) country; like their boss.

David said...

The key word here is "kids."

The Drill SGT said...

Note that 2/3 of Obama's picks are retreads from the Clinton years.

We are hoping that they'll bring lots of change to Washington and a post-partisan perspective on governance :)

holdfast said...

Thomas Kratman calls them Transnational Progressives or "Tranzies" - I think I like that term better.

Hey, if you want to be a "citizen of the world", go ahead, fill your boots - but I don't think that you should then be able to be a leader of a sovereign nation when your whole life's agenda is to reduce that sovereignty. That sounds a little too close to treason or at least subversion. Kind of like those people (Hillary, Michelle) who only believe in or are proud of their country when it is giving them goodies. The Obamas may have been born in the 1960s, but they are still narcissistic boomers, just like the Clintons (and Bush to some degree). When will be rid of the most horrible generation, the useless spawn of the "greatest generation".

TosaGuy said...
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TosaGuy said...

Wonder if there is a difference in the mentality of a person who is intellectually flexible and one who is morally flexible.

Bissage said...

I have a “TCK” cousin.

I only ever saw him once.

It was at a small family gathering and he was 13 years old at the time.

So far as I could tell, he didn’t do anything at all except sit off by himself smoking cigarettes and gazing at the horizon in a state of pure contentment.

Maybe he was stoned.

laura said...
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laura said...

Maybe he's just content - self-medicating isn't a prerequisite.

Maguro said...

The "classic profile" of a TCK reads like some lame horoscope and probably has just as much value.

Verso said...

Ho Boy...

"Obama has packed his staff with so-called 'Third Culture Kids' —people who grew up outside the U.S."

That line will launch 1,000 paranoid YouTube videos about "Obama the Usurper," the "terrorist enemy" who plans to destroy the country from within.

When the loony right hears Obama is "packing" his staff with non-Americans (I know it doesn't say that, but that's how the fringe of the Republican base will read it; after all, the fact that Obama lived in Indoensia for a few years is the basis for their challenge of Obama' eligibility under the "natural born citizen" clause of the Constitution), it will only increase their conviction that Sarah Palin was right: Obama is the kind of person who would like to see his country destroyed.

Update: Ricpic proves the point. And holdfast even brings up "treason" and "subversion." Then holdfast fantasizes about being rid of the largest age cohort in American history, the "most horrible" "useless spawn" of the Baby Boom generation.

Verso said...

Ricpic said, "[Obama and many on his staff] have absolutely no allegiance to their (nominal) country."

Holdfast said, I don't think that you should then be able to be a leader of a sovereign nation when your whole life's agenda is to reduce that sovereignty. That sounds a little too close to treason or at least subversion.


See, this is what I mean when I say that a significant number of Republicans refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of Democratic government. It's this fringe thinking, unfortunately, that led under Bill Clinton to a dramatic rise in membership in anti-government militias, federal agents shot dead, and federal buildings blown to pieces.

And that's how the Republican base responded to a good ole southern boy, Bill Clinton, being president. We simply can't judge, yet, how much worse it will be with a president who is a Muslim Marxist Terrorist and "the kind of person" who would like to see his country destroyed -- as Palin suggested repeatedly, fueling the passions of the most extreme elements on the right.

Palladian said...

Are you being paid by the word, Recto? Because you've spilled enough text in here in the last couple of days to fill up your own memoir. I suggest you call it "Loser From My Father". And give your poor father our condolences for having spawned such a boring hack loser as yourself.

Balfegor said...

Bottom line: they have absolutely no allegiance to their (nominal) country; like their boss.

I wouldn't say that. Army brats and embassy brats are the archetypal "Third Culture Kids," aren't they? And both sets of children would be expected to grow up with a strong sense of allegiance to the Fatherland. What they might tend to lack is a strong cultural affinity for the US. And even that isn't necessarily the case -- remember the anecdote about young Barack Obama, isolated from his Indonesian peers, goofing off at the back of the classroom drawing little Batman cartoons? They may have an attachment to the idea of America culture -- perhaps stronger than many of us who had to grow up in it --precisely because they approached it from a half-foreign perspective.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Verso,

You add nothing to the debate. A couple threads back you post two comments from some blog about conservatives who want to stage a revolution and then project in your little mind that's indicative thinking among all conservatives. You're a fool.

Do us all a favor and go play in the street. You're contributing to global warming with your stupid exhalations and using up valuable oxygen for the rest of us.

Verso said...

Yikes! Republicans can be quite nasty when they encounter disagreement!

Palladian: Recto is right. Verso is left.

AJ Lynch said...

Any predictions for when Obama says "helluva job Timmy?" to his fellow Third Culture Kid and Treasury Security Timothy Geithner as our monetary system and stimulus ideas fail like FEMA did during Katrina?

Oligonicella said...

Verso --

"Republicans can be quite nasty when they encounter disagreement!"

Small children, when told to quit prattling on and bugging the adults, often feel as if the adults are being nasty to them.

Palladian said...

"Palladian: Recto is right. Verso is left."

Yes, shit-for-brains, I'm aware of that. Verso can also refer to the back of something. But I like to call you recto because it sounds like rectum, because you're an asshole.

The Drill SGT said...

I wouldn't say that. Army brats and embassy brats are the archetypal "Third Culture Kids," aren't they? And both sets of children would be expected to grow up with a strong sense of allegiance to the Fatherland. What they might tend to lack is a strong cultural affinity for the US. And even that isn't necessarily the case --

having seen lots of the Army Brat kids in my lifr I would say:

1. high patriotism affinity
2. high US cultural affinity
3. relatively low bonding level with peers. The moving every 18 months issue
4. relatively high family bonding
5. some level of distance from the soldier parent due to lingering felings of abandonment
6. somewhat bi-polar behavior model. more model kids, more problem kids. fewer average kids

Shanna said...

If he is doing this on purpose, that is interesting. Obama is kind of an odd duck and he seeks out groups for a reason. What is his reason?

Henry said...

Does it strike anyone else that this is a psychobabble column posing as political analysis?

The first sentence of the second paragraph reveals Ms. Van Reken's clumsy sleight-of-hand:

This is more than a trivial coincidence.

Ms. Van Reken doth protest too much. She has named three, maybe four names out of scores of Obama staff. Three and a half is not "packed." This is a trivial coincidence.

Verso said...

Palladian said, Yes, shit-for-brains, I'm aware of that. Verso can also refer to the back of something. But I like to call you recto because it sounds like rectum, because you're an asshole.

ROFL.

peter hoh said...

I married a TCK and have spent most of the last 20-plus years mingling among TCKs. I don't doubt their love of country, but they don't wear a lot of flag shirts.

It's not just a matter of knowing these individuals; for most, I've come to know their siblings, and in many cases, their parents, too.

Interesting people. I'd agree with some of Drill Sgt's assessment of Army Brats, but among the group I know, bonding with peers was very high. The group seems to have many more achievers than failures.

Balfegor picks up on something important. While growing up overseas, they were identified as Americans, and never treated as insiders in the culture in which they grew up.

The group I know are mostly missionary kids, and I think their experience is somewhat different than embassy kids.

The said...

Hmm...The article says Third Culture Kids seem "aloof" and can sit "above it all".

Translation: A significant part of a TCK's mind is always thinking, "Meh...I don't really care about any of this, because hell, I'm not really all that invested here - socially, emotionally, financially or otherwise. I can always go back to Country X if things go into the crapper here in America."

Easy to rise about it all when have no skin in the game. Danger, Joe America. Danger.

holdfast said...

It's not just where someone grew up, it is their agenda - I think that it is unwise, even stupid, to elect someone to run a country when their goal, whether stated or unstated, is to weaken that country, whatever their motivations - I don't want a CEO of a company who does not believe in that company and I do not want a President who does not believe in the country - that's not to say that he cannot strive to improve it, but if he starts out believing that it's sovereignty is something to be given away, well that is subversion.

I don't want the boomers to all die or anything, just to stop having a hammerlock on national politics. Both Clinton and Bush, the boomer presidents, have been badly flawed in ways that are endemic to that generation - one reason I liked McCain is that he wasn't a boomer, despite his other flaws.

I'm not sure why Verso brings up domestic terrorists, unless it is to remind us that those are the kinds of people in Mr. Obama's neighborhood.

Original George said...

I partly grew up in two Third World countries.

There's nothing like living in dictatorships where people have the same rights as cattle and live in worse circumstances to make you infinitely grateful to be an American and for our country itself. Truly, for better or worse, there's no other place in the world where a Barack Obama could be elected president. For all our sakes, let's hope he doesn't botch it too badly.

ron st.amant said...

As someone who lived outside the US while very young, and now live outside the country in middle age, I think a few commenters have touched upon a few aspects that I agree with:

If you're a kid and you grow up outside the US it is almost assured you did so because of a parental decision: generally work related, often in the military as Drill Sgt rightly points out. Most people in this situation, even the non-military ones are subjected to a transient existence which psychologically tends to lead to a default aloofness. However I would also suggest that such persons also develop a higher sense of loyalty. Therefore while they may not develop interpersonal relationships easily, once they do, they tend to bond more strongly to those relationships, this includes the relationship to their country.

I think the sense of detachment comes from an inner sense of belonging or wishing to belong to whatever environment you are living in, but never quite feeling 'home'. This is what I go through- when I'm here in Canada I feel more viscerally "American", and when I'm in the States, I often notice how "Canadian" I've become, so no matter where I am I feel like I don't quite belong.
However if in my truly formative years I'd have lived outside the US that feeling might be different...I'm not sure.

hdhouse said...

and of course some of you would be happy if Mr. Obama re-hired from Bush's band of thugs?

Hey guys, if we had to live with Mr. Gonzo you can live with better.