Yascha Mounk in The New York Times

Yascha Mounk in The New York Times

On March 24, 2017, The New York Times published an op-ed by Transatlantic Academy Senior Fellow Yascha Mounk entitled "How Did I Celebrate Becoming American? Protesting Trump."

Mounk, who recently became an American citizen, writes, "One of the things I most admire about the United States is its fierce attachment to the Constitution. Americans have as deep a commitment to democratic institutions, and as active a civil society, as the citizens of any other country in the world. If the defenders of democracy don’t make it here, it is doubtful that they will make it anywhere. But one of the things I most fear about the United States is that the veneration of the Constitution is always in danger of turning into complacency. While the country’s system of checks and balances gives Americans the tools to safeguard their freedoms, the Constitution cannot defend itself. The defenses it puts in place will work only if citizens are prepared to use them."

"As this realization dawned on many Americans in the past months, and a valiant fight for the soul of the country got underway, I felt increasingly self-conscious about my status as a 'resident alien.' While I had plenty of opportunity to speak to Americans, I could not speak as an American. And that is why the election of a dangerous demagogue to the presidency of the United States made me more, not less, determined to take on citizenship... After the ceremony, I did not go to a park with friends. I did not have any champagne... Instead, I did something that millions of others cannot do without fear: I joined a protest in Boston against the revised executive order on immigration."

The full article can be read here.