USA 2019 – Quo vadis? My view on America in 2019

It´s been a while since I wrote something here. I had some busy times on the job and on my other blogs. But now I´m back to write down some of my thoughts that run through my mind the last couple of weeks. I wonder what’s going on over there in the USA. I mean in regards to the current president Trump. It’s been a little crazy what we got on media coverage over here in Germany. I mean there is still at the Democrats the topic “who’s gonna challenge the current president in the race for office 2020?”. On the other hand site, there is this impeachment thing going on. I read what´s going on on Twitter, I read what the NY Times, the Washington Times write, I watch those Late Night shows and I even watch how FOX News is covering the topics. And honestly speaking: I´ve never seen something like this in my entire life. 

I mean, I watch politics for quite a while now. I try to listen to all sides and their arguments and try to build my point of view on a topic. But what’s going on in the USA is far away from anything I´d call “normal”. It’s more like a bashing each other. What you see has more or less nothing to do with politics. It’s like everything is circling around one question: “Are you with Trump or not?”. Everything else seems to step down in this mud throwing that you see on a daily base in the news over here. And I raise the question for myself: How could it come that far?

The United States of America is a great country. A lighthouse of democracy, the strong defender of the weak and land of unlimited chances where you become a millionaire by starting as a dishwasher. 2019 little is left from this picture that I had for so many years. When I think about the USA today, it’s more a “Me first, and f*** the rest that doesn’t act like I want them to.”

I found a poll by the Civey-Institut for the “Atlantik-Brücke” from Feb 2019 (a Germany/USA club that was founded in 1952 to enrich the bonding between Germany and the United States on an economic, cultural and scientific level). It says that 84,9% of the Germans see the relationship between the two countries as bad or very bad. I mean, these are really bad numbers. But next to such numbers. This is the feeling I share as well. When I grew up, I was more or less “Americanized”. The USA was my country No.1. I played Baseball, watched Football, I could sing the national anthem as good as the German one, my favorite drink was Mountain Dew (at that time you could only get it if you have someone within the US-Military because it was only available in the PX) and I had a crush on American history.  Everything was great. But since then a lot of time passed…I grew upstart to reflect stuff that might not be that cool as Teen, but still, it was all ok, until Donald J. Trump appeared on the scene. In the beginning, I thought this is some sort of bad joke that the Republicans nominated this guy I know from “Home alone” and some really bad advertising for Steaks. Even when he was nominated and the campaign rally began, I still thought that it’s a bad joke and he has no chance. Even on that night in November 3 years ago I started watching the election on my PC. I remember pretty well when I watched MSNBC (because they had a live-stream on youtube). Everybody on the panel was like “Easy going….Hillary Clinton just needs some of the Swing States and things gonna be ok for her.” The next morning when I woke up, I assumed that I see the last results coming in and wanted to watch her holding her winning speech. I was so wrong. I woke up and I was like: What a nightmare. I saw States falling for Trump that I never expected to be “Trump”-Country. 2016 was a year that I will never forget because the BREXIT and the win of Trump on the US-Presidential Election shattered my belief in logic. But here we are, 3 years later. Well, my greatest fear that this guy could blow up the entire world thankfully didn’t come true. But some other things changed and they changed a lot. It´s that egoism has grown up way bigger than I expected. “America first” is a doctrine, that was never on my mindset. That the US dropped out of the Paris agreement to save our planet because Trump says it was a “bad deal” is something that can not be ignored. Quitting this agreement signed by 194 countries of the world was something that is the most obvious thing that “me before you” is the way that this president would like to go. But ok, he is the man in charge. What concerns me much more is that he got support for this from a large group of Americans. People that support such politics. Did the Americans became a country of egoists or was it already all the time? I believe that the last option is not the case (at least I hope so). But what is it that Trump is still in charge? I´m mean honestly….half of the “missteps” this man did were enough to kill every political career over here in Germany. But he is still here. 

He makes those “missteps” all the time. He put´s more trust in the words of a Russian president than in his own intelligence agencies…in front of the whole world and denies it afterward. He wanted to buy Greenland and was pissed that the Danish Government said “no”…ok, that was more a PR-stunt to get him into the News…got that. But he paid an escort and denies it, said about racists riots in Charlottesville that there were some “very fine people on both sides” and pissed off nearly every American Allies.

Alternative Facts…

The Washington Post’s fact check counted 13.435 lies and misleading claims since his first day in office. (I know all Trumpist now go mad because it’s the Washington Post and Trump hates that Newspaper although it’s one of the best-known Newspapers in the world…but nevermind). I mean:

First, how comes that there is such a website? Why is it possible that the lies and misleading claims can fill a whole website?!?

Second, politicians are not the saints that they might want to be. We all know that. They are human like everyone else. And we have all our weaknesses, but in this case, it´s far worse. This man speaks the way he thinks it fits best and changes his mind hours later and denying what he said before. And this is what I can not stand. A person should stay at the things he/she said. And if those were things that were wrong you can reverse it by saying “Listen, I was wrong….” Does he do that? No. He not only refuses to reflect his own statements, he even goes out and blames someone else for it (Mostly the Democratic Party). Did anyone ever hear a public announcement that he screwed something up? No, you wouldn’t find any.

But what you find are “Alternative Facts”. A word that was completely unknown to me until 2.5 years ago. I was literally shocked when Counsel to the President Kellyanne Conway used that phrase. It is THE statement that stands for the presidency of Donald J. Trump. “Alternative Facts”. If I don’t like the thing someone confronts me. I tell my own truth, and if someone finds out, I´ll tell him these are based on my “Alternative Facts”. This word is “evil” it’s simply an evil phrase. Because it’s the description of the word “Lie”. It replaces the word “lie” because therefore we don’t have “Truth and Lie” anymore. Because now we have only Facts and Alternative Facts as the basement for what is a lie and what is the truth. And because Alternative Facts can turn everything into a truth we don’t have any truth anymore because everything is true now. So I can say the moon is green….and you tell me no I can say that it’s the truth based on my Alternative Facts. And the 45th US President brought this to the Oval Office and made it popular. Not only the word itself but the way of thinking behind it. It lowers the moral-value-level of a complete society if such values are lived by the highest person in the country. 

What’s even worse than this (if this is even possible), is this “We first”-Thinking. And I´m not talking about the economy. Every country leader has a job to do to bring wealth and social security to his/her people. Therefore trade deals are made. I can have endless discussions about if this kind of economic strategy is right or wrong (in my point of view it’s a wrong approach…but I don’t want to go into details now). 

No, I’m talking about the racist-thinking that Trump spreads out in his politics. He never mentioned that directly. For sure not. But let me tell you, it is. As a German, I can pretty good hear the differences what someone says in his sentences. “The Bad Hombres”, as he used to call. But the thing is, he uses such phrases to describe not only a certain group of people but a whole kind of people from certain areas, countries. Maybe you already forgot the travel ban from some Arabic countries. I didn´t. Judging a whole country on the evil things of a few is racist thinking. You can defend this as long as you want, but this is racist thinking and talking. Talking about “invasion” when some 10k refugees are on the way to the US is racists thinking and talking. Using fear as a weapon of choice is something I´ve seen and read about in the history books of my country. And I´m afraid about the numbers of supporters that support such politics. People that cheered for someone that uses such a language…I say historic documents of similar situations back from the 30s of the last century. I hoped never see those again. But here we are…2019…and it’s back. And Donald J. Trump is the person that not condemn this kind of language but boosts it. Something that my brain couldn’t get along with. As President (at least that is my understanding of this job) you should get people together not separate them.

The tone of voice

“Nervous Nancy”, “Sleepy Joe”, “Shifty Adam Schiff” …. are just a few examples of how the President of the United States calls other people (he doesn’t like). What kind of language is this? I´d expect a tone of voice like this from a Highschool Bully but not from the President of the United States. This is the way a Hillbilly would talk but not someone that has to have at least some basic manners. And this is what Donald J. Trump lacks the most. He’s not able to perform in a way that a person of integrity should act. That’s why he can never mess up with the “Pro”´s in the political game because he’s not even able to speak the same language. So how can someone tries to 

I give you an example. Senator John McCain (may God bless his soul) and 44th President Obama. McCain often wasn’t a big fan of Obama´s politics. Everyone knows that. And they had a lot of disagreements during the presidency of President Obama….but throughout these 8 years those two never got personal. They fought hard on the topic but there was always respect from both sides. Calling the President “Bad Barak” (just an example to stay in this Trump terminology) would never have come to the mind of John McCain. That´s what´s been called “manners”. He was a man of honor. And I remember President Obama´s first words he spoke at the funeral of John McCain:

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“We come to celebrate an extraordinary man. A warrior, a statesman,a patriot….” 

President Barak Obama, 09/01/2018

This is the way you can speak about someone that sometimes may not share the same point of view as you, but you share the respect for each other.

And speaking of this man, I will not forget to mention this sentence about Senator McCain by Donald Trump. 

He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.

Donald J. Trump, 07/18/2015

A sentence was spoken by a man that has not the slightest idea how it is to serve his country…even more, serve his country in war times. This is one example that shows that this man has basically no respect at all for others but himself. As long as you serve him well, you get his praises…but as soon as you dare yourself to have a different point of view, you get dropped like a hot potato. Is this really the way a role model should act? Because as president you are a role model. For all the people that voted for you and as well for the people that didn´t. 

Summary

I titled this blog post “USA 2019 – Quo vadis? My view on America in 2019”, so what is my conclusion: The USA changed. But it is mostly driven by its Chief in Command. From a world-leading country to a selfish, egomaniac country with a “We first”-attitude. But, and this is the good news, there is a change that I see. More and more people stand up against this kind of politics. It’s good to see that there might be differences but the “right/wrong”-thinking is still working. The United States of America is still a great country with a majority of fine people that have tons of love for their country. And it can still fulfill this leadership role if it takes this responsibility in a community of countries. And I’m very confident that this will happen. Weather in November 2020 or as a result of the current impeachment process.

Title image by: unsplash-logoFerdinand Stöhr

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