U.S. election fatigue

The Ugly American is real — and it’s more than just Trump

November’s election can’t come soon enough
Photo: DonkeyHotey

I’m tired of America.

I’m tired of America’s wars, drones, guns, and routine convulsions of violence that cause so much death, destruction, and despair for so many innocents inside and, most profoundly, outside the country.

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I’m tired of myopic American politicians who wallow in their ignorance about the world and what is happening to it; who deny the earth is heating beyond repair; who tar desperate peoples fleeing the wars, drones, and violence as “terrorists”-in-waiting; who unapologetically widen the chasm between rich and poor; and who are convinced that their “thoughts and prayers” and flimsy rhetoric about “making America great again” somehow magically constitute a solution.

I’m also tired of the millionaire, pampered reality TV celebrities who populate America’s 24/7 “news” networks, playing ringmaster to the ubiquitous parade of ranting partisans in the rabid pursuit of ratings, fame and an ephemeral burst of ego-satisfying attention they insist, laughably, epitomizes “journalism.”

Donald Trump isn’t alone in the gutter of bigotry, racism, and misogyny.

Every four years, my fatigue becomes particularly acute because outsiders like me and you are obliged to pay careful heed to America during yet another angry, schismatic presidential election since, whether we’re prepared to acknowledge it or not, the world’s fate depends largely on the still uncertain outcome.

This year, my fatigue with America and the politicians who claim and aspire to lead it has reached a kind of exasperated zenith. Arguably, we have witnessed a first in the interminable “road to the White House:” the ascendency of not only a thug, but also a pig who enjoys bathing in the muck of his signature dysentery.

Lately, the pseudo-journalists who, for years, enabled an orange-haired Frankenstein are now running around like torch-wielding hysterics trying frantically to distance themselves from the wild, plodding, reality TV monster they helped unleash on their gullible viewers.

But, make no mistake, Donald Trump isn’t alone in the gutter of bigotry, racism, and misogyny. There are millions of other Americans in there neck-deep with him. Trump is the champion and embodiment of who and what they are: insular, angry, fearful, resentful and hateful.

And I’m tired of having to listen and watch them celebrate their stupidity and hatred with such unbridled enthusiasm on TV and at toxic, xenophobic pep rallies that bear a disturbing resemblance to another bunch of flag-waving goose-steppers in another not so distant time.

This isn’t the underbelly of America, but an undeniable, perhaps even predominate side of its seething face, thinly disguised behind all the flowery talk of tolerance, equity, and the mythical American dream.

Along with the squealing pigs, there have been more than a few thugs in suits, masquerading as presidents, who understand, among other things, that a defining prerequisite of the job is the willingness to kill repeatedly and with ease and impunity.

The number, ages, names, faiths and histories of the killed are irrelevant since the president who gives the order to his soldiers to do the killing will — with some notable exceptions — be applauded and venerated for all the killing by equally trigger-happy Americans who, like their leaders, are addicted to the orgy of killing in the familiar and the other, quickly forgotten, foreign places.

Throughout this instructive campaign, both Trump and Hillary Clinton have made it clear — through the blinding blizzard of taunts — that, like every other president, they are prepared, even eager, to kill more children, women and men if America’s insatiable geopolitical bloodlust and the corporate media’s litmus test of “looking presidential” demands it.

Clinton's facility with diplomatic double-speak is a sure qualification for a “statesman” who is expected to kill.

Despite their temperamental and theoretical differences, Trump and Clinton are united — at least on this infamous score. I defy anyone anywhere to disabuse the world of this fact.

As a corollary to this, I’m tired of the apologists who make the predictable, sober-sounding excuses for all the killing — whether it has been perpetrated by Bush or Obama in the past, or will be by Trump or Clinton II in the future.

The apologists prefer, it seems, for their presidents to do their killing with a patina of apologist-approved seriousness and probity.

Remember, these were the same think-tank types, academics, and marquee columnists who were and, in many cases, remain convinced that the Iraq invasion was a masterstroke of strategic thinking engineered by a bold president who was, it turns out, way over his silly, malleable head.

The chorus of amnesiacs is claiming — with all the rhetorical outrage it can muster — to be philosophically and fatally allergic to Trump. He’s too incoherent, coarse, and unstable for their oh-so-delicate liking.

Apparently, Trump is indeed the Ugly American that this crowd has always denied existed. Ah, the irony and the hypocrisy.

Clinton, on the other hand, can be counted on to do her killing with the apologists’ blessing. This means, of course, that many more Arabs and Palestinians, among others, are likely to be killed, injured, or made refugees by America and its regional proxies if the former First Lady becomes the first Madame President.

It’s true that Clinton will order and defend the killing with the usual speechwriter-crafted pomposity that’s so appealing to the apologists and that, obviously, is not part of the vocabulary of an illiterate like Trump.

Clinton's facility with diplomatic double-speak is a sure qualification for a “statesman” who is expected to kill. Only this time, the president will be wearing a designer pant suit while she orders the killing.

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