Disunited States of America?

Published February 4, 2021, 12:25 AM

by Gemma Cruz Araneta

LANDSCAPE

Gemma Cruz Araneta

          When the presidential elections in the USA were over, I felt it was time to unglue myself from You Tube and go back to listening to local news on AM radio. But when Capitol Hill was attacked on 6 January, breached and occupied by what looked like a blood-thirsty murderous mob of white supremacists (including one waving a walis tambo), I was back to wallowing in You Tube until the wee hours.

Apparently, I am not the only one who is hopelessly addicted: I felt I was in good company when my zoomates, former classmates turned US citizens, confessed that they are just as addicted as I am. In fact, from South Korean telenovelas like “My Frozen Flower” and “Endless Love,” they have switched to  Glenn Kirschner (Justice Matters), Rachel Meadows, Chris Cuomo (CNN), Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper, etc.

          In his autobiography, A Promised Land (2020), former President Barack Obama said, “At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the United States could legitimately claim that the international order we had forged and the principles we had promoted – a Pax Americana – had helped bring about a world in which billions of people were freer, more secure, and more prosperous than before.” He may have spoken (or written) too soon because I feel that faith in the leadership of the USA is being deeply deeply eroded. It looks like American democracy is not as formidable as we imagined it to be.

          More from former President Obama: “At times, we bent global institutions to serve Cold War imperatives or ignored them altogether; we meddled in the affairs of other countries, sometimes with disastrous results; our actions often contradicted the ideals of democracy, self-determination, and human rights we professed to embody…” In the next paragraph he concluded, “…if America was not always universally loved, we were at least respected and not merely feared.” My dear Mr. Obama, those perceptions may have changed since your  autobiography came off the press.

          In my humble opinion, the emergence of Mr. Donald Trump in USA’s political scene was, in a way, Mr. Obama’s “fault.” How can   a black American with a strange-sounding name, who was born in Hawaii and had spent years in Indonesia win two presidential terms? What an outrage! Although he governed efficaciously for all of America, not just for black America, the advent of Mr. Obama unleashed the kraken, the white supremacists hibernating in the bowels of the USA. Who will tame the beast now? Certainly not Donald Trump, he is the ring master.

          Remember the fearsome USSR, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? The mere mention of that acronym used to send shivers up and down our national spine. Little did we suspect that from 1988 to 1991, the year it crumbled, the USSR was self-immolating. The process of disintegration was irreversible due to growing political and legislative unrest in the republics that comprised the union. The Balkans, Ukraine, Byelorussia were detaching themselves. The Soviet government and the military attempted to suppress the “parade of sovereignties” but they could no longer stem the tsunami.

          The ex-Soviet Union came to mind when news reports on You Tube said that certain politicians from Texas threatened secession because of (alleged) mass electoral fraud. We are hearing similar noises from other states toying with the idea of forming their own commonwealth. Will the USA face  its own “parade of sovereignties”? Will the deeply rooted issues of race and color   cause the disintegration of the federal system? With bated breath, the international family of nations is watching the political denouements in the (still and so far) United States of America.

([email protected]gemmacruzaraneta.com

 
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