The road before us

One of the advantages of being on the side of the good guys — and let’s congratulate ourselves for a moment, because we supermen and superwomen who stand resolutely against Trump and Trumpism truly are on the side of truth, justice and the American way — is I don’t have to deal overmuch with undue prejudice and ignorance in our ranks. Those are deficiencies more common to the other side.

I don’t doubt for a minute that were I on the side of the Republicans I would have to constantly apologize for the fact that I don’t currently inhabit the North American continent. Complaints that I don’t from our side are few and far between — and not particularly shrill at that.

Even so, in the words of John F. Kennedy, it is not relevant. Where I live has no bearing on who I am. I enjoy the same access to most of the resources everyone else living in the United States of America does, the same news outlets, the same unrestricted speech protected by a different constitution and the same privilege to express my views without official retribution. And I do so, again in the words of JFK, as an American, as a Democrat and as a free man. I’m glad I only have to point this out to very, very few of you, and that even those few are more teachable than many of the most enlightened in the Trump camp.

So when I say we are in this together I mean you and me, in the good sense and the bad. We collectively get to enjoy the moral advantages of the good and shoulder the theoretical burdens of the blame for the bad. We have, as a collective, both much to be proud of and much to fix.

For example, we’re in it together in our fight against the monster currently usurping the White House. I know I only recently said that we should be more ahead in the polls than we are, but that’s not our fault, that’s their fault, the ones who still support the monster Trump. The man they wouldn’t give the time of day to were he not a white male celebrity who is apparently rich. The fact remains we are way ahead in the polls, and I’m delighted about that. I think we are going to win. Not by a landslide, but by a convincing margin.

But we’re also now number one in the grim statistics of coronavirus. As I write this, America now leads the world in cases (8,150,043) and deaths (221,843). That is a direct result of Donald Trump’s incompetence and his perverse insistence on making the wearing of masks a political statement. Donald Trump has proven that he cannot lead, he can only incite hatred. That is not leadership, that is demagoguery.

Once we have won back the presidency we will have many burdens on our hands. The burden of correcting the damage Trump has caused to our precious home — our planet — through deregulations intended to profit greedy corporations, withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement, and the offences he’s committed against our neighbors and our allies for the sake of those world dictators Trump ardently admires.

We will have to deal with the giant step backwards Trump and his minions have taken in race relations. Think back, for a moment, to the days not long ago when most Republicans characterized Donald Trump as a divisive racist and a kook. Those same Republicans have changed dramatically, and they have also changed their constituents with them. We face an America that is far more overtly bigoted today in 2020 than it was in 2016.

The devastation of this Trump presidency has been unbelievable. America today resembles Berlin in 1945, morally speaking. America is in ruins. One advantage to living abroad, if you can call it an advantage, is the enhanced perspective it gives me into the scope and scale of the destruction and havoc Trump has unleashed on the moral landscape of the nation of my birth. The view from here is shocking.

That is where we are right now. But that is not where we have to stay. We can fix this mess. It will take time and patience, but we can fix it. And, who knows, maybe as a result of this trauma we will one day emerge a stronger and kinder nation. I wouldn’t believe it if I weren’t one of you, and because I am, I know what we are capable of. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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