842 America - the Land of the Free

You may have noticed, the world is not the same anymore. Did you miss the most important newspaper article of last week? Former NSW Premier and Labor government foreign minister, Bob Carr, tells it like it is: America has changed.

SMH illustration of "Uncle Trump" by John Shakespeare

“The star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave,

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”


There you can read that the election of Donald Trump was no fluke, it had to happen, because, as the saying goes: “Every democracy has the government it deserves.”


First, absorb the fact that the President of the United States - the successor to Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower - is still defending himself for not specifically condemning Nazi and white supremacist groups following their weekend violence.


Now ponder for a moment that America's greatest hour between the end of the Civil War and today was the 1945 US-led victory over Nazism in Europe.


Absorb that, and then close-focus on the present: a demagogue occupying the Oval Office combatively resists criticising far-right groups, some of whom exalt the swastika.

Something as dire as this did not occur because a wealthy vulgarian captured the White House on a fluke.


Radical shifts like this don't just reflect personnel change. They happen because the country itself has changed.


That’s right and there is no hiding it, America - as represented by Donald Trump - is a different place than it was 70 years ago (doh, it would be, wouldn’t it), but the shift that can be observed through the lens of the Trump election is away from its traditional values. Is it still ... "the land of the free and the home of the brave”?


 The Huff says, "Americans Aren't Sure Anything In America Works Anymore":

The overall mood of the country is one of "anxiety, nostalgia and mistrust," Fear is not an emotion that you see often in public opinion polls ... Americans aren't confident that we've fixed what went wrong.


Many, in fact, see the country as on the decline … 53 percent of Americans say the nation's culture and way of life have changed for the worse since the 1950s. Forty-nine percent now say America's best days are behind it, up from 38 percent who said the same in 2012. Democrats remain more bullish, while Republicans and tea party members are the most pessimistic.


 ... and, "America Has Lost Its Soul":

We Americans wave our nation’s flag and crow our national anthem, self-assured, full of pride, assuming our jingoistic clattering will continue to fool the world that we are an honorable nation. Instead, we are exposing ourselves as pretenders to the democratic values our forefathers defined for us.


“America, who are we?” asks Charles Blow in his NY Times op-ed piece: “Are we - or better yet - should we be - a nation that tortures detainees, or targets and kills American citizens with drones, or has broad discretion to spy on the American public.”


Myself, I am very keen to visit America, namely New York. But will I find the place that in my mind fosters (still from The Huff) these American Values? ...


1)  This is truly what makes America great - being exposed to, and sometimes integrating, various traditions and cultures make us much more creative and vibrant as a society.

2)  The accepted value that everyone can succeed in life if you work at it.

3)  Compromise. Our government is designed for legislators to compromise. If you believe in “my way or the highway”, go live in a totalitarian society.

"Donald Trump is a demagogue catering to the lowest common un-American denominator. It is a disgrace that he has become the ... President." 

Where is America going? I agree with those who say Trump will not be president at the end of this year. Will everything go back to normal? Who knows; some also say that Trump having become president will rally the (Democratic) troops ... it will inspire them to fight, for America and the free world. 

I also agree with them.