The US presidential election is not ending like a Christmas story! Nor by any measure is it ending as I would have hoped. From the moment I went to bed last night – after seeing the looming signs of a dog fight – I have been filled with despondency. My anxiety was instantly fuelled again this morning when I discovered the fearsome trend of the ballots. Never have I felt so thoroughly estranged from our American neighbours. The reputed inadequacies of Bell Canada (and every other telecommunications company for that matter) come nowhere near approaching the misfires and blunders of the citizens of the United States of America. My erstwhile alliance with and romance for USA is being incrementally battened down and deserted. Clearly neither I nor anyone else is capable of reading the democratic purpose, ambition or self-image of about half of American citizens.
It is disheartening to confess that we outsiders are so profoundly distanced from the reality of the American underbelly. This abrupt confrontation has in the process further revealed the private sinews of Americans of every stripe. I am gradually deteriorating to the token visitor in the far corner of the drawing room. Nor is my silence and remove entirely subservient. Certainly I respect the right of others to have opinions contrary to my own; but I preserve the right to contradict others too.
What makes the rising conflict both disruptive and uncomfortable is the unavoidable conclusion that I have misjudged the scalding truth of the indiscretion inherent in 50% of the American population; namely, the relentless dedication to money and self-improvement. The project is naturally simple enough and largely indisputable. What, after all, could be more candid than the need for money and the ambition to get it. It appears however that the thesis is riddled with objections, among them a misunderstanding of the many ingredients in capital production (specifically both labour and natural resources), and a harmful absorption in one’s own wealth and advantage while ignoring the plight of others. If I hear Trump or his minions once more cry, “The Radical Left!” I shall vomit. This arena-style war cry is aligned with a similar obfuscation of socialism. How Americans have been conditioned to think that education and medical care are evils of socialism I shall never understand!
Meanwhile the Americans continue to fight one another for what I can only imagine are equally unintelligible reasons even to themselves. They know they are fighting but I think they’ve forgotten why.
For our part we’re investigating wintering in New Zealand.