I have been in East Africa for the past couple of weeks and quite out of touch with the news. This weekend am back at a hotel near the city (Seeta, Uganda) and it has been raining so I have watched some news reports on the TV in my room. Seen from the perspective of this part of the world, the news from the U.S.A. leaves me feeling incredulous. Yesterday one member of a panel discussing the exclusion of people from some Muslim nations to the U.S. and he talked about how he felt unsafe for himself and his children in South Carolina and that the President, using Christian values was concerned only about the safety and security of Americans. No mention of gun violence because of their gun laws or lack of them, but happy that only Christian refugees from Syria would be considered to come to the U.S. and that extreme terrorists from other countries would be kept out. He then went on to say that the United States was a “gold standard” for a society in the world. I almost threw my shoe through the television at him. But then I realized that there must be many Americans who think this way or the current president, congress and senate would not have been elected.
The world population is 7 billion and the population of the USA is 330 million – less than 5 percent.
Americans now have fairly elected a Republican president, congress, and senate that want to make their country “great” by acting only in self-serving ways, excluding the rest of the world if it is not in their interest. Full of self-importance and egocentricity.
I know there are many Americans who do not think this way but the reality is that the country had a legitimate election and the current administration won the contest. I was encouraged to see the Women’s marches across the country (and around the world) but it feels a bit like the horse is already out of the barn. Peaceful protest around the world can express opposition but it is only Americans – and I think more specifically sensible Republicans, if there are any – that can deal with this distressing regime. How did it get this far and just how far can it go? The current government reflects the choice of the people. The United States of America will have to live with it, but why does the rest of the world?
What would happen if the other six and a half billion, the rest of us, just let the USA build its walls and live in a cocoon? Ignore them. Leave them to themselves. Let them do what they want within their walled existence. It wouldn’t have to be a political alliance just a cooperative effort. Stop buying American goods. Stop selling them oil and water. Stop buying their weapons of war. Stop vacationing in Las Vegas or Florida or New York City. Watch Aljazeera instead of CNN. Go to internationally made movies. Form our own trade agreements excluding the USA. Make it “us” and the U.S. Be friendly but just let them live in their restricted little egocentric American bubble. If they really want to interact meaningfully and inclusively with the rest of the world they will have to prove it. If not…good luck.
Walls and fences can keep people out but they also serve to keep people in. Let them build their walls and keep people out. Leave them alone. Let’s see how “great” they can be without the rest of the world supporting them as they bully their way into the position of privilege they think they deserve.
The behavior of the new U.S. administration is distressing. I fear that the U.S.A., a badly (bigly?) divided nation is in for a rough ride.
I’m gonna make it up for all of The Sunday Times
I’m gonna make it up for all of the nursery rhymes
They never really seem to want to tell the truth
I’m so tired of you, America.
Making my own way home
Ain’t gonna be alone
I’ve got a life to lead, America
I’ve got a life to lead
Tell me, do you really think you go to hell for having loved?
Tell me, enough of thinking everything that you’ve done is good
I really need to know, after soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood
I’m so tired of America.
Rufus Wainwright – Going To A Town