Donald Trump’s unexpected Covid-19 infection and hospitalisation should be the election wake-up call the USA needs.
For many, America has stopped being American—for four years its citizens have been living under the shadow of a president who has more in common with Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin than Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt.
Hopefully, the USA–a great country I lived in for many years-will finally wake up to what is happening to its democracy and, sadly, to its morality. Things started going pear-shaped way back in the Nixon days with the Watergate scandal which removed a Republican president. Since then, there has been an almost deep-seated desire to smear whoever is in office. Witness the attempts by the Republicans to get the Clintons over the White water controversy.
That didn’t work so they widened the investigation to cover Clinton’s private life which ended up tearing down Monica Lewinski for her affair with the president. On the other side, Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W Bush were both portrayed as not particularly razor-smart by the mass media. But, arguably, things really started going pear-shaped with the ‘Tea Party’ and other more extreme groups that tried to steer the elected administrations towards their worldview with street marches and demonstrations. (Much like the BLM movement today although that’s more extreme.)
Until the parties in power–whether Republican or Democrat-stop governing by focus group rather than what is best for the country, this polarisation will inevitably continue. A rules-based democracy can’t work effectively if there’s no moral framework to undergird it. The greater the corruption, racism, exploitation etc, the harder it is for governments to govern.
There is a saying that people get the governments they deserve. I suggest that we need to think about this in theUK, not just the USA. Finally, on a lighter note, a Scottish newspaper’s report on Trump (“Turnberry hotelier tests positive for coronavirus”) follows a publishing tradition of pursuing the local angle. It could have added: “Local lad gets sick. Also runs America.”
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