Obama and McCain Are More Similar in Experience Levels Than Previously Realized

This presidential election is very different for a reason that most people don’t realize. Both candidates are Third Culture Kids meaning they were either born or grew up overseas.

John McCain was born in Panama and lived on naval stations around the world growing up. Join the navy and see the world as the recruiting slogan goes. He then joined the navy and continued to be exposed to other cultures and languages. Even as a United States Senator, he is way ahead of his senate colleagues in taking trips abroad to foreign countries representing America’s interests. His trips to Afghanistan and Iraq are legendary where he has officiated the swearing in of green card holders serving as American soldiers who are receiving their citizenship. These soldiers’ children are Third Culture Kids growing up right here in our midst.

Barak Obama’s experience did not start from birth like John McCain’s but was very significant. His mother, an anthropologist, at different points in her life was married two different Muslim men. Barak Obama attended public schools in overseas, Islamic religious schools, as a child in Indonesia. Barak Obama’s experience as a Third Culture Kids is significantly deeper than John McCain’s because of this. One lived on an American military base, McCain, while the other not only lived on the local economy but in the local economy and culture. The difference is similar to swimming on top of the water and putting on scuba tanks and diving.

What the typical American doesn’t know is that one in seven highly successful people in America are Third Culture Kids like Obama and McCain. Their exposure to and appreciate for other cultures and languages has given them the mental flexibility to do great things. Today in America we have a new generation of immigrants who are themselves Third Culture Kids. Have you ever heard of George Lopez? He and many like him, came to America with nothing, learned English and seized the chance to be successful. America’s newest Third Culture Kids can learn English online for free without many of the challenges that other Third Culture Kids being born and raised right here in America have had in the past. Could this be one of the reasons America is so successful that we traditionally have a large population of Third Culture Kids?

Third Culture Kids growing up in other cultures have a different and more well rounded perspective from those that are not exposed to other cultures, even from that of their parents who are with them and raising them there. Third Culture Kids are citizens of the world and one will be leader of the greatest nation on earth in a few weeks.

BOLA TANGKAS