Remember when you were an ideal for the world ? I do remember, back in the Seventies. My parents who have been young in the Fifties, were big fans of you. You brought us the washing machine and the dryer for everybody (sorry, the Germans were faster with the Volkswagen, but never mind) and more.
You brought us Elvis and Rock'n'Roll. You brought us Jack Kerouac and Carlos Castaneda. Freedom and easy riding. Woodstock and Jimi. I mean I was 12 at that time, but it caught on. We saw all the hippies and others protesting against an unjust WAR in Vietnam. We were impressed.
We admired you.
We all wanted to be like you. An open society where everybody accepts everyone, all living together in peace, since: Wasn't the US created with those ideals (never mind African slaves...;-) ? Where all people which are persecuted at home can find a new place to live and "make their dreams come true" ? The statue of liberty. Well, actually, you probably would have to afford the ship's fare to get there.
I knew the US in the Eighties. I worked in Frisco, Modesto, Calgary (ok....Canada), La Crosse, Miami and New York. I really felt free, as long as I shut up about politics and did not dare to criticise foreign policy and religion, because that would be the death penalty for me ;-)
As long as I hailed the US and did not dare criticise anything I was welcome. And then I started to feel uncomfortable, to feel SMALL being an European. I felt slowly covered up by that immense self-confidence of Americans which did not allow anything but me saying how grateful I can be to be in their country.
In the next years, Clinton came and went, Bush senior came and went, Bush II came and went, 0bama came and went.....and I noted that not only the US itself started to become uneasy internally, but also its foreign policy started to become more aggressive.
Then 9/11 happened. I have my opinion on that, but it's not the point here. The point is that in the eyes of us Europeans we started to have more and more doubts if the US was fit to play the leader of the "free" (LOL) world. They seemed (and seem) more and more distanced from the ideals we thought they had, and were slowly turning into a macho which doesn't care for anything else than it's own economic advantages.
I started to think that the US doesn't give a shit what the rest of the world thinks. That they simply follow their neoliberal hegemonist agenda, no matter what the cost. And that idea is unfortunately still present.
I hope that the people of the US will realize that this is a dead end. We all need each other to let humanity survive. No matter which culture or religion. No matter which super power will emerge in the future: No leadership is eternal.
And by suppressing the rest it is even more short-lived.
Go back in time, guys. Play along WITH us, not against us. If not, we'll ALL go down together. I'm sure Elvis or Frankie Boy wouldn't have liked that too.