A Letter To Americans

A Letter To Americans

by Anonymous Contributor - Mar 28, 2022 02:13 PM +05:30 IST
A Letter To Americans The Statue of Liberty (Flickr)
  • Something dark has descended on the land of the free. Those of us who can perceive this transformation before our eyes can only hope that the American public will snap out of the trance they seem to be in.

I love America. I really do. I’m not just saying this because the rest of what I am going to write may have you convinced that I do not.

I have had a ‘natural’ affection for the country since I, as a child, started reading Willard Price (thank you dad), moved on as an early teen to Louis L’Amour, and then to so many wonderful American writers — Faulkner (in school), Vonnegut (because you must) and of course Vidal (if you haven’t read his Live from Golgotha, you are not American).

I have visited the US a couple of times and deeply appreciated the value proposition it offers as a country to any reasonably intelligent human being. And I have observed it closely for at least three decades.

I am certain a large number of people, even in countries that the US has bombed to smithereens, still have a fragmenting memory of that America. An America that is fair, strong, friendly and true.

Does anybody recognise that America today? I do not. It has morphed into something difficult to describe.

You sense an unseeable malice slouching silently behind the slick news-media and the coiffed politicians, but you cannot put a finger on it.

There is a sense that some powerful malignance has been birthed a while ago but is still in its infancy — orienting, gathering its bearings, looking about with an unrefined and uncertain antipathy.

Is this the state, the ‘deep state’ even? Does any American perceive this? Some of you must be wondering, surely?

The American state does not listen to much anymore. Not to its friends, who seem reluctant to make any contrary case (considering the catastrophe unfolding in Ukraine), or even really to its own public.

Blindness of the state is de rigueur in many countries. Yet they do not inspire the sort of quiet alarm one feels when contemplating the actions of an omnipotent America.

It is the kind of foreboding that arises when you first begin to realise that one amongst you may be, just may be, a forming psychopath.

Few outside America look at it today and see a benign force. Even among allies, and don’t let their false smiles, timely praise and sullen acquiescence fool you.

There are sound reasons for this. The United States has, using overwhelming military power barely controllable by a misinformed voting public, destroyed several countries in the last couple of decades.

They were not much to begin with, some will say, but no one will seriously argue that they are better off now. The latest example being Afghanistan. But the list is long.

Once the destruction has been done, there is no empathy for what is left behind. America the superpower moves on, lurching as though disoriented, to its next victim.

Its people, apparently drugged by consumption in its multiple forms, do occasionally question this uncertain path in their moments of lucidity. But these are few and increasingly far between.

Consider that a sitting president was banned from social media just a couple of years ago. And is still banned after he lost messily at the ballot box. Yes, in the United States! But surely, not the America you grew up in.

It might be that ordinary American citizens have lost control of their own creation. Now it seems to be in the thrall of a callous force without ethics or even clear motivation, except the acquisition and consumption of things. Worldwide.

It has overwhelming force on its side and can occupy your land as well as your mind. There is very little you can do about it even if you are a big country, except resort to not-so-subtle end of days threats. Is anyone in the US pausing for thought here?

What a lot of the world sees in America today is power, aggression, greed and a sense of disregard for rules where its own behaviour is concerned.

Like a global policeman who is corrupted and corrupting. Al Capone without a state to take him on. A William Munny who does not introspect, does not pause for thought and apparently could not care less about the damage to the townsfolk.

The world cannot cope with an evil America. So, it is with a sense of dread that it watches helplessly as a foreboding shadow frames the country we all continue to love at least in some degree, if not still in full measure.

Whatever malign impulse has gripped this great nation and diluted its core of benevolent goodwill may now threaten the world with its fantastic capacity for violence both militarily and in other forms.

Something dark has descended on the land of the free. Those of us who can perceive this transformation before our eyes can only hope that the American public will snap out of the trance they seem to be in.

Is the situation beyond redemption? The answer my friends is blowing in the wind.

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