The USA is currently suffering from severe internal divisions. A number of oddities have arisen from this. The murder of George Floyd has triggered burning, looting and riots, and one of the main proponents of peaceful protest and reform is a rapper called Killer Mike. The man that is carrying on the legacy of Martin Luther King is a man standing on a stage with a t-shirt that reads ‘kill your masters’.

It’s disheartening to watch the Americans continue in their cycle of violence and protest. Something unjust happens, passions flare for a brief period, then the can is kicked down the road and it starts all over again.

It reminds me of a certain line from the song ‘and the band played waltzing matilda’; it goes ‘And the band played waltzing matilda, as we stopped to bury our slain, and we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs, then it started all over again.’

I have no love for the US; I don’t buy into the ‘special relationship’, and I certainly don’t believe we are cousins, but human suffering is the same all over, regardless of nationality. I will admit there is a bit of a fear of the cold we’ll catch when America starts sneezing, but it is not all selfishness; watching the USA tear itself apart is not exactly pleasant.

It’s clear to me that the last time the United States was so divided was during the Vietnam War; the most notable example being the kent state shootings, where the Ohio national guard shot thirteen unarmed protestors. There were riots like the ones we were seeing now after MLK’s assassination.

The maxim that history often repeats itself, especially when no one was listening the first time, is so worn out it is probable that I shouldn’t have bothered writing it; but it has a nasty habit of ringing true.

In truth, I’m not convinced that the US will remain stable into the future, and the effects of this on the rest of the world do not bear thinking about; so I politely ask the United States to get its act together before it does something it will later very much regret, and that may also affect Britain – and elsewhere  – in a negative way.

During these troubling times, Donald Trump has proved himself to be a poor leader. In fear of jumping on a bandwagon, I must say that I consider Mr. Trump no less than an idiot, and now a very dangerous one at that. He seems perfectly able to really wring out every inch of underlying distrust, hatred and tension in his country.

More concerning still is his democratic opponent Joe Biden, whose inability to function within normal human parameters is worrying.

The age of the two reminds me suspiciously of the last years of the Soviet Union, where its aged leaders before Gorbachov died soon after taking power; the USA, as the Soviet Union was in its years, is now run by politicians far older than the average population and are dangerously frail. Why this happens I cannot say; I’m not sure if there is any connection at all, but the younger generation seems incapable, unable or unwilling to place candidates that are not at death’s door in power.

I may be criticised for sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong for writing this; after all, I’m not American, I’ve never been to the place and what I see of it I don’t like. But I am justified in speculating about the world’s only superpower; being the so-called ‘leader of the free world’ comes with a lot of responsibilities, and standards to live up to.

Events in the USA affect me whether I want them to or not, and it is there that I find my justification for prodding at the United States and its goings-on with a stick. By being the only global superpower, the leader of the free world and a country with a very nuclear arsenal, you automatically open yourselves up to scrutiny and foreign muttering.

There’s a reason why no one concerns themselves with the internal affairs of Norway, being so insignificant, so really it’s a compliment to the nation – or, more accurately, its force of arms – that foreigners like to peer in at the lot of you taking chunks out of each other with portable bandsaw.

And in reality, we demand little, just please pull your act together.

 

Photo from Photo Catalog on Flickr.

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