The U.S.A. just ain’t what she used to be…

Point Roberts, Washington

I grew up on the Canadian – American border, and our family spent some summers at Point Roberts and South Beach, in Washington State . I remember tidal pools and sand bars teeming with crawly creatures we would catch, and then release when the tide rose..

Although these two communities are located on a tiny peninsula below the 49th parallel, the only way to reach them by land is to drive through British Columbia. We liked playing with the American kids we met there, even if they did spin tall tales about the fish they caught.

One Fourth of July, an American girl invited me to her family’s celebration. I remember her adorable baby brother dressed in red, white and blue rompers.  We paraded around the yard with toy drums and whistles until an over-excited  beagle jumped into the wading pool and shook his wet fur all over us and the picnic table groaning with fried chicken, potato salad and corn-on-the-cob.

The vibe of this year´s Fourth is a far cry from that memory. Scrolling through facebook, I saw that few people had posted happy greetings I know the Consulate threw a big party, but not one of my many American friends told me they had a celebration planned.

Nowadays, almost everything we read about the U.S.A. focuses on President Trump. Every day he seems to say or do something unanticipated. I often check out a website called “What Trump Did Today”   https://www.whattrumpdid.today/   I can’t describe how disappointed I felt when I saw he’d replaced the traditional “down-home” remembrance of liberty with a show of military might.

Fintan O’Toole, a journalist with The Irish Times warns such actions are evidence that Trump and his supporters are building a fascist state. You can read the full article at this link:

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-trial-runs-for-fascism-are-in-full-flow-1.3543375?mode=amp&fbclid=IwAR0UijeVXeuKUwp4aKuuLVLOfJg-lI7JyrQN64BZs7xyUimWdXKgMGP9mts

Here are a few points, culled from the full article:

  1. Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy… convincing people takes time.
  2. Getting them to accept behaviours they used to recoil from requires several different approaches.
  3. One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections
  4. Fascism does not need a majority; it typically begins to consolidate power with about 40% support and then uses control and intimidation to bring others into the fold.
  5. Fascism undermines moral boundaries by making light of cruelty
  6. Fascism builds up the sense of threat from a despised out-group which allows the members of that group to be dehumanised…

And once that happens, what comes next?

Trump’s “base” is organised and ready to rumble. I pray that the Democratic party will  not spend too long choosing their candidate … someone energetic and principaled … someone who won’t back down when bullied.

Most of the world is alarmed, and yet, we can do nothing about it. The American Democratic party and the nation’s voters are the only ones who can reverse the ever-escalating trend that the current administration has put in motion.

PLEASE get moving … there is not a moment to lose.

 

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include spending time with freinds, reading, painting, cooking and travel.

21 thoughts on “The U.S.A. just ain’t what she used to be…

  1. An American friend’s post a few days ago was right on. A photo of a mature veteran saying he did not serve his country in the military for 22 years to have it “put babies into cages”. There are many, many good people out there, but they must get together and become a strong voice for truth, good, and human decency. If they don’t, they’ll lose everything and then wonder why. Many Canadians are concerned.
    I hope this won’t be blocked as being too outspoken.

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    1. Not blocked by me Auntie Alice… I am as horrified as you are and that’s why I used the “F-word” (fascism) This movement that is building amongst “the base” is wat scarier than people realise. I pray they wake up soon

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  2. Hello Joanna – I wanted to comment on your post today but just can’t see where to comment. Please advise! Thanks, Alex

    >

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  3. The last presidential election was a wicked thing, it was the first time I could not keep a political sign in my yard. My mother had the same problem thirty miles away. Makes you wonder. Trump was elected on crappy turnout, too many of the regular voters who are not political, did not vote.
    Fascism is a very attractive economic/political system, I understand why people gravitate toward its exponents, they don’t call it fascism, it is a loaded word but if it walks like a duck…I just don’t think it has a footing, their house is built on sand, their leader is an old demented man-even at president he still lost the popular vote by 3,000,000 votes. Joanna, you are going to see a lot more people vote in the 2020 election and it will not be the proto fascist party casting those ballots.
    I’m going to put a game camera on my “Whoever the Democrats nominate” sign this next year and catch the lughead who is stealing my signs-we’ll have a talk.

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    1. Hello Norm, It has been some time since you commented here… glad to hear from you today. Your optimistic point of view is also welcome. But I am still worried because this thug-like mentality, bullying and crude behaviour is so rampant… What kind of leader allows such abusive policy? Anyway, I hope you are proven right and that we will soon be rid of this scourge.

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  4. I appreciate your comments. As a Canadian and a naturalized US citizen I am in mourning for the America I chose to move my family to.

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  5. Of all the US presidents I have lived through during my life, I have to honestly admit I have never seen one who appears to be so universally hated as Trump. How he ever got elected in a country that was founded on freedom from persecution and has far many many more voters than Canada is way beyond my comprehension.

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    1. Sharon, I agree with you. It is unbelievable that he is so popular. I have heard a lot of people say that The Bully gives people “permission” to show the side of themselves that used to be hidden from public. I know so many Americans and I never thought they could behave as they are now. It is sad.

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      1. I think those who voted for him were the typical “rednecks” who are known for their bigotry.

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      2. Unfortunately, it was not just the rednecks and racists, Sharon. Many former middle class workers who had sunk below the poverty level, believed he would restore the economy theylost. Why did they believe he could do that when people like him, with their big “projects” were responsible for the “house of cards” demise.

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  6. A great place to get truthful news about the Trump administration is the White House website. You sign up for the newsletter. It’s one of the few accurate sources about the good work Trump is doing. The mainstream media, as anyone with a grain of gray matter knows, have morphed into being the public-relations arm of the Democrat Party. Old-style independent journalism, my previous profession, by the way, has gone down the tubes. Sad. Trump will win by a larger margin next year than last time. And that’s a great thing.

    Don’t worry. Be happy!

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    1. Hel-lo-o-o-o Señor Felipe. I must say I am surprised to see you visiting “Changes in our Lives”. The name of my reletively new blog of course relects my sincere hope that there will also be “Changes in Leadership”… and you know where. I know you are aware that you will never convince me to see any light over on the dark side… and I know I will never be able to help you lift the curtain, and see the light that I see. But for the record, what concerns me most about the current US president is his bullying disrespect for anyone who disputes him. You know I have always placed high importance on respect. And so, even though I am fully aware of your political folly, I do follow the maxim of Evelyn Beatrice Hall, and I will publish your comments here (provided that you make them respectfully). I trust that you will afford me equal rights…

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      1. My identity is not hidden at all; you failed to look for a name. My profile can be found at the end of the post… I’d venture the opinion that not reading until the end is a habit of yours… Just sayin’…

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  7. Joanna, there is a book I have read three times over the past several months called “Pinocchio Island” by Alexandra Wallner. (I suspect you are familiar with it.) For me, it is a hauntingly sad and fitting allegory for the current situation the USA finds itself in. It is very, very clever. Highly recommend.

    I’m very afraid for the USA. North of the border, the hoods are off. Proudly. Ignorance is rampant. Stress and sadness roam the streets. The collective ugly American, long rumored to be alive and well (and I can confirm its existence, shamefully, because it lives in my family) kept its mask on. It could at least be “professional” as it interacted with greater society, but now it is proudly starring in its own reality tv show with a reality tv celebrity as its face. Sad.

    South of the border, everywhere I turn, I run into kindness, professionalism, optimism, hope, happiness, a sense of relief. Hard working, resourceful people that are running with every step further away from “victim-hood” and are constantly, cleverly, redefining self-reliance. Happy.

    The Pet Shop Boys still draw a huge live following in Mexico when they tour here. I’ve just heard their latest work on the radio!, and it says it all about our current world situation:

    In the States? They have a small, loyal following, but they were tossed aside decades ago. I feel you can always tell a lot about a country by who they throw under the bus.

    I often think a person can stay in a town or country, and devote their life to helping it evolve or catch up. (Hope that doesn’t sound too elitist!) Or, if you “weren’t born on that day”, you can join your “pack” already running, and “Make Magic in Mexico”—or something like that! 🙂 You might be contributing to both countries that way, without getting dragged down in the mud.

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    1. Hi Harold… I DO enjoy your comments so much… both what is obvious and what is implied. You look at content… carefully… you are a writer’s dream reader. And of course, we do see the state of the world in the same light.

      Alex Walner and I are good friends; I am sure you noticed that I reviewed her book.

      As for the “state of the union”… I am horrified. The Bully and his legions are provoking mahem… and I venture to say that the splitting of families you speak of is one more tactic: “divide and conquer”.

      As for the “Pet Shop Boys”. I will listen to the link you sent… and on the topic of being thrown under the bus… what about the “Dixie Chicks”? Ravishing reputations is an equal opportunity measure these days.

      But Harold… we soldier on…

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      1. I have not read any reviews of the book, but I will now, and I look forward to reading yours! (I keep my eyes shielded from reviews and previews etc, so I don’t poison the well.) I will write one also. I was thinking today again about the book, and how (spoiler alert) she actually tackles that question of “finding community” and “your pack” without apology!! (Nor does she expect perfection.) 🙂

        Yes, agree, the Dixie Chicks are and were courageous. Thank you for the reminder!
        —-A fellow soldier

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