Followers

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

America's Colonial Election

 The political stalemate in the United States challenges many of the commonly held notions about democracy in the nuclear-armed, north American nation of more than 330 million people. The incumbent, authoritarian president, Donald Trump, at 74 already one of the oldest leaders in the G-20, is clinging on to power and refusing to accept defeat by the even older opposition leader, Joe Biden.

In advance of the election, Trump built a barricade - a "non-scalable" wall - around the presidential palace, officially known as the White House, in the country’s coastal capital of Washington DC, which only added to concerns that he may not give up power if he lost.

For the watching world, the question is how did it come to this? How could a country that promotes itself as a model democracy across the planet - "the shining city on a hill" - be so bad at conducting elections and containing a rogue president?

Strategically located between two of the world's largest economies, Mexico and Canada, America is a country of deep contrasts - of breathtaking natural beauty, natural resources and friendly people, but also of ethnic divisions and massive inequality and poverty. It is a country that leads the world in scientific and technological discovery, yet is ruled by a corrupt, rapacious elite and struggles to come to terms with the legacy of its racist and colonial past.

Similarly, while Trump and Biden have much in common - both are wealthy and accused of corruptly exploiting public office to corruptly benefit themselves and their family members - they represent very different visions of the oil-rich country, long regarded an island of stability in a troubled region.

Four years ago, frustrated by a political elite that had presided over years of declining fortunes and betrayed hopes, a section of the American society, primarily made up of members of the ethnic white majority living in the vast rural interior of the country, turned to Trump, a political outsider with a hateful message which exploited ethnic divisions, demonised immigrants and refugees and promised a return to a mythical great past.

Yet Trump has achieved the opposite - by wrecking the nation's traditional alliances and exacerbating its internal divisions, he has weakened the country and lowered its esteem in the eyes of the world. Even the economic successes, the foundation for his re-election campaign, have been blighted by his mishandling of the global pandemic which has so far led to the needless deaths of nearly a quarter of a million of his fellow citizens.

Biden has now been elected by the other half of Americans, a coalition of ethnic minorities and moderate whites, also on a platform of a return to a mythical past, only a more recent one. He has been essentially charged with undoing the chaos of the Trump years and healing the divisions.

However, the idea of a pre-Trump utopia is fiction. The fact is Trump is a symptom, not the cause of America's problems; he simply exploited what existed long before he appeared on the scene. Fixing the country will take more than replacing him with a member of the ancien régime.

One might say that the problem is both camps are not looking back far enough. As the political unrest that swept the country in the months leading up to the election indicated, the issues plaguing the US date back to its founding as the first English colony, the genocide that accompanied the conquest of the native population, the enslavement that allowed the exploitation of its resources and the discrimination that legitimises to this day gross inequality and allows the few to profit off the labour of the many.

As with other countries struggling with traumatic pasts, the US needs to come to terms with the legacy of that past which continues to poison ethnic relations between its citizens today. Here it could learn from other former colonies, such as South Africa and Kenya, which have experimented with truth and reconciliation commissions.

In addition, the US will need to examine and repair the systemic faults with its democratic arrangements. Although the country likes to think of itself as having escaped the clutches of colonial monarchy after securing its independence, the truth is just like many former colonies that retained colonial states after securing independence, in the US, the monarchy was reincarnated in the form of its powerful presidency.

Over the last two centuries, Britain's first-born has continued to increase the power of that office while simultaneously untethering it from constitutional restrictions. Where democracy was once thought of as a way for the people to rule themselves, the country has transformed it into a mechanism for basically appointing a king.

In the mould of their former colonial masters, Americans have come to treat their presidents like greater mortals and saviours, ascribing to them messianic qualities, carving massive monuments to them on mountains and treating their words as pearls of wisdom from on high. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's description of Biden in her acceptance speech is in the same vein: "We have elected a president who represents the best in us. A leader the world will respect and our children can look up to. A commander in chief who will respect our troops and keep our country safe."

It is this path that has led the country inexorably to Donald Trump. In order to reverse course, the US will need to pursue reform of its system, to reintroduce accountability and to pare back some of the powers of the presidency. Rather than focusing on choosing rulers, it has to encourage the participation of its citizens in the governance of their state.

One hopes that the political impasse and rising tensions in the country will be resolved peacefully since the American people deserve better. However, they must keep in mind that the election of Joe Biden is just the first step on the long road to democracy.

14 comments:

MCP in Denver 2007 said...

Just ‘discovered’ you. Love your tweets and blog. Long time ago we visited your country. So beautiful.

Bloggity Dog said...

Really enjoy your tweets. I shared some of them about "Papa Don" in a forum. The reply was "I don't get your attempt at humor. Are you denigrating African culture?" I replied, "It's a twitter feed. I left the link. I think he's African and I don't think, if there is an attempt at humor as you suggest, that he's denigrating his own culture." I then copied this article to give context for him. He replied, Yak, yak, yak. You were denigrating Africans and did not even notice. Typical liberal, with the usual canard of Western moral superiority + white savior complex. So please tell us more about how Africans are corrupt and backward and Trump makes you think of Africans. lol
I guess some people have a difficult time with satire. Seems like it works on different people in different ways.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Hope you are fine? Its a very great time reading your enjoyable and educative content. However, make your website backlinks metrics strong on https://lifebloggernet.blogspot.com/?m=1 >>A blog that features and emphasises about lifestyle, blogging, education, relationship, culture, religion, fashion, motivation and the world. Enjoy the better service ( https://lifebloggernet.blogspot.com/?m=1 ).

Frederico Estevo said...

Am very happy today to share this amazing testimony on how Dr. Imoloa the herbal doctor was able to cure me from my Herpes Virus with his herbal medicine. I have been a herpes patient for almost 8 months now and have tried different methods of treatment to ensure that I am cured of this terrible disease, but none worked for me, so I had to leave everything to God to handle as I was a Christian who had faith that one day God would intervene in my life, yet I felt so sad and desperate as I was losing almost everything due to my illness, A few months ago while I was surfing the internet I saw different recommendation about Dr Imoloa on how he have been using his herbal Medicine to treat and cure people, these people advice we contact Dr. Imoloa for any problem that would help immediately, I contacted Dr Imoloa and I told him how I got his contact and also about my disease, after some time Dr. Imoloa told me to have faith that he would prepare for me a medication of herbal herbs, he told me I would take this medicine for two weeks and also asked my home  address so as possible for him to submit the drug for me, so my good friends after all the process and everything Dr Imoloa actually sent me the medicine, I took it as I was directed by Dr. Imoloa after two weeks passed, while on Dr.Imoloa medication I began to experience changes in my body, I had to call my doctor at the hospital for some blood test after test my hospital doctor told me that I was no longer with the herpes virus and my blood is pretty good, I can not even believe this, Friends well today i am Herpes Free and i want everyone to know that there is a cure for herpes for those who will contact Dr Imoloa after reading my testimony, you can kindly contact Dr. Imoloa Via e-mail/ (drimolaherbalmademedicine@gmail.com)  or Whatsapp +2347081986098. website-http/www.drimolaherbalmademedicine.wordpress.com. God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

A 'turd world' shithole country, perhaps?
Of all the most devout of Evangatrumpists, I reckon the Proud Boys are the ripest and most richly deserving of ribbing.
"Riding high in the saddle like super-macho cowboys, the dress-up loving Proud Boys took 'pride' to a whole new level among the cavalcade of MAGA-philes that descended on the capitol. And boy oh boy, were they ever-so fabulous as they delivered all the flamboyant colour - and colourful characters - of an LGBT parade."
Please don't mistake this as a dig at the proudly gay LGBT community. It's an attempt to direct their homophobic bigotry right back at them.
- Chris B

Riya Rai said...

Dwarka Escorts girls are having a wide assortment of hot and sizzling female escorts in Dwarka which can undoubtedly make your day out.

Payal Singh said...

Mahipalpur may sound you like the name of a regular village that lacks even basic facilities and if someone talks about getting the top of the world Russian Call Girls in Mahipalpur then it may sound unbelievable and shocking too who would believe that the place is known by the name of Mahipalpur Escorts is quite capable of offering best of Russian escorts around Delhi NCR

Himanshi Verma said...

With regards to serving their customers, it's anything but a matter of experimentation; it involves flawlessness. Enjoy a reprieve from the hustles of life and Gurgaon Escorts Service your body and psyche to unwind in the hands of these blessed messengers.

aliya said...

still waiting for a pussy, check out these sites. they deal in the escorts. their escorts will fulfill all your desires and fantasies.
Delhi Escorts Ishagarg
High Independent Escorts in Delhi
Russian Escorts in Delhi
Delhi Escorts Waiting For you
Satishfy Your Intimate Dreams

Schloka Free Classifieds said...

Find Best Escorts and Call Girls At Schloka. Here Your Can Post Escorts category Ads and Get Best Business. We Alow To Post ads in all Over India Cities. and You Can Also Find Best Escort Girls Here.

Schloka Escorts Panipat
Schloka Escorts Rewari
Schloka Escorts Rohtak
Schloka Escorts Sirsa
Schloka Escorts Sonipat
Schloka Escorts Yamunanagar

Bed Pari Bangalore Escorts said...

Thanks for sharing this brilliant article it was a very useful and helpful article.

vijaynagar escorts
domlur escorts
koramangala escorts
malleswaram escorts
kasturba road escorts
Call Girls in Bangalore

Unknown said...

Check out this article: The International Law of Colonialism in East Africa: Germany, England, and the Doctrine of Discovery by Robert J. Miller & Olivia Stitz

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3798893

The non-European, non-Christian world was colonized under international law that is known today as the Doctrine of Discovery. This common-law international-law Doctrine was applied by European nations and the United States at the Berlin Conference of 1885 to colonize Africa.

Bangalore Escorts said...

Escorts service near the park Bangalore
Escorts near the golden palms hotel spa Bangalore
make your trip special escorts in Bangalore
Thane escorts services
Independent Bangalore Escorts
Bangalore Escorts Services

Bangalore Escorts said...

Escorts near sterlings mac hotel bangalore
Escorts service near the chancery pavilion Bangalore
Independent Bangalore Escorts
Bangalore Escorts Services
Hifi Escorts
housewife escort