Cover Photo; Cori Marshall.
The experts say that the best time to intervene and help a family member become a better person is when they are in existential crisis. I consider Americans to be my cousins since my paternal grandfather Walter Ray came from Oklahoma to homestead in Alberta. So in that spirit here it goes.
Firstly though, I’d like to ask a quick favor. I ask politely because I’m Canadian after all. Can you please officially stop referring to your Presidents as “The leader of the free world”? I’m afraid to tell you that none of us has ever viewed your presidents as our leaders. But to refer to Mr. “grab em by the pussy” Trump in this way is so ridiculous even you must see it. And FYI we probably wont accept any of you moving here, most especially Lena Dunham. Thx so much.
It has been confusing to watch your spectacular reaction to the election of Donald J. Trump. Spectacular, because terror is not at all hyperbolic in describing the reaction of much of your population, the part notably that considers itself progressive and perhaps the 41.6% of you that didn’t vote. From the apocalyptic countenances of newscasters and late night hosts, to the nightly protests apparently rallying against the results of your fellow citizens democratic will. Meanwhile Michael Moore seems to be calling for some sort of revolution to prevent Trump, the legally elected president, from taking office.
Confusing, because all of the things you seem so frightened that Donald Trump will do already are. I don’t think its Donald Trump himself that is causing your massive existential crisis. It is I think because in him you catch an uncomfortable glimpse of yourselves. Like Dorian Grey you have finally been forced to stare into your own portrait. A likeness that illuminates in brutal detail the mortal sins that you have hidden from yourselves for so long. Donald J. Trump serves as the most accurate portrait of what America is and has always been. Like the mythical cousin who is gifted and capable of incredible things but hobbled until now by their inability to control elements of their basic makeup that are narcissistic, deceitful and violent. And you are as a group capable of some amazing heights. The heights of your science and arts are as bright as the sun but your dark side is more than enough to extinguish all the stars in the heavens.
The portrait in front of you has been painted with the blood of millions whose lives your nation state has destroyed since its violent, much storied birth. By many estimates as many as 20 million lives since the the end of the second world war. But take heart, for in self-knowledge lies real change you can believe in, not just its rhetorical echo. You have just shown that you can elect anyone you want to control your government. So keep hope in the fact that if you take this opportunity to face some very bitter facts perhaps four years from now you can put someone truly visionary in that office. Someone who understands the interconnections of us all, and the immorality of war as a means of national policy. Someone who will create a society for you that puts the wealth of your nation in the service of its people rather than the 1% and your arms industry. Indeed, you have just proven that you as a people have the power to take your destiny back from the false Pepsi/Coke dichotomy of your recent politics. In short, you have the ability to create something so much greater than the fictitious construct you currently view yourselves and the world through.
You seem to be afraid that Donald Trump will make America more violent and less tolerant. Yet you presently live in a country where in large parts any basement-dwelling, mad-at -the-world teenager can open-carry a loaded assault rifle into a family restaurant. The only way the management of the restaurant could refuse this individual service is if he were gay and it conflicted with their religious beliefs.
You are afraid Donald Trump would make America less egalitarian. It never was. You were taught, mostly by fanciful Hollywood myths not your third-world education system, that America’s founding fathers created a utopian society after casting off their British overlords. In reality,they were a group of wealthy landowners and merchants. They utilized indentured servants, poor whites paying off their passage from Europe with years of serfdom, and slaves brought in chains from Africa to grow their wealth. Your founding fathers were aristocrats who simply wanted to keep getting rich without paying the British crown for the privilege. “No taxation without representation” has more in common with Donald Trump’s calling for massive tax cuts for rich individuals and corporations than it ever did with a popular grassroots movement. After your revolution the only people considered citizens and therefore granted the right to vote were white, landowning, men. Your founding fathers would have been on the same page as Donald Trump pretty much.
Which leads us to the well documented fact that your entire nation was built on the backs of black slaves that you treated worse than animals This was absolutely acceptable to you at the time. You truly believed in your moral superiority and a special destiny that placed you above other inferior races. You fought a long bloody civil war at least partly over slavery. But despite any progress you have made on this issue. Mostly through the incredible bravery of African Americans themselves. This is still obviously true for many of you today.
Yet you still seem afraid that it is Trump who will ruthlessly persecute minorities. Odd. In truth as your history progressed into the era you fondly refer to as the “old west” your story took a decidedly genocidal turn. The indigenous population that helped you the strange pale strangers survive their first few winters in North America. The Natives who taught you the type of warfare that would win your independence and fought beside you against the British. You supposedly just remembered some of this on Thanksgiving. What you fail to remember is that your repayment was inhuman in its ferocity. In settling the “empty’ west some estimate that over 80% of the indigenous population died, some 40 million humans. This is not simply part of your past as the militarized response to Native Americans at standing rock clearly shows.
The genocide of the Native peoples of North America is unparalleled in human history but being an industrious bunch you also managed to occupy and seize most of Texas , and California from Mexico after provoking war with Spain. You invaded Mexico twice afterward in 1914 and 1916 at the behest of American Oil interests. You cringe at Trumps wall but there has long been a series of barriers along the Rio Grande. Many armed US citizens rove this imposed border threatening to shoot those coming across. All of this is normal to you. You and your nation have always tried to keep Mexicans fleeing economic problems in large part caused caused by repeated American intervention from entering territory that was theirs to begin with. And now to that we can add the humiliation of their currency dropping 12% in one afternoon because of Trump’s apparently rhetorical statements.
This is a good place to stop and discuss your fear of Trump’s effect on your “free press”. Firstly your mainstream media is in no way unbiased or “free”. Your media has always been owned by a small number of people who used it to advance their interests. Though he never uttered the famous quote “just give me the pictures and ill give you a war.” Randolph Hearst, who virtually owned US media at the time used his press empire to push for the Spanish American war through the Cuban ruse. This pattern remains to this day. Your media is owned by a very small number individuals and is still capable of sending you to war on false pretenses as any of your thousands of maimed perhaps homeless Iraqi vets can confirm.
Let us my wayward relative now proceed into the 20th century where you seem to believe you have been such a force for good . You started the century forcing your good on the Philippines. Your largess was best summed up by General Bell of the US Army who marked Christmas 1901 with this cheerful message.
“All able bodied men will be killed or captured. … These people need a thrashing to teach them some good common sense; and they should have it for the good of all concerned.”.
You news is full of Trump’s conflicts of interest. You seem afraid that he will use the power of your nation to advance corporate interests. Much of your fabled American wealth was built by your corporations brutally exploiting peoples from China to Cuba and Africa backed by your foreign service, intelligence agencies, and military. The 1800’s were spent asserting your Monroe Doctrine’s claim to the riches of South America and the world. One of your US Marine Generals of the era put it quite accurately;
Your media’s condemnation of Fidel Castro as a dictator and in some cases celebration of his death has been striking this week. They mysteriously fail to mention that he came to power to rid Cuba of generations of domination by American corporations and gangsters. You brutalized Cuba’s people and left them starving peasants on their own land. Many of Fidel’s most repressive edicts were directly caused by the U.S.’s immediate and prolonged efforts to topple his government and return his people to servitude.. These efforts include sabotage, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and countless attempts to kill Castro himself. In relation to Cuba you should have a good look at “Operation Northwoods“. As you read about the lengths your government and military where willing to go to justify a US invasion of Cuba keep your more recent history in mind.
To get a grasp on the modern era you need to stop watching “Saving private Ryan” and look into the links between some of your largest corporations Ford, IBM and the rise of Nazi Germany. Look into the fact that future U.S. senator Prescott Bush had his business the Union Bank of New York seized under the trading with the enemy act for financing Fritz Thyssen the man who put Hitler in power. You need to ask why Gen. Butler quoted above above was approached by some of your richest industrialists to form an army to take power in the United States in the 1930’s. You need to ask questions about what the effect of thousands of ex Nazi officers filling the ranks of your newly minted CIA and many other branches of your government after the war had on your governance. When your leaders say you need to fear Iran you should research operation “Ajax“. None of this is sweaty basement conspiracy theory there are academic papers on all of it. Finally you need to look up the definition of fascism and then compare it to a realistic view of your political system. There are some similarities you may find disturbing.
I wont bother belaboring the actions you have all been alive for, and at the end of the day did nothing to stop.The attack on Libya resulting in the dystopian wasteland it is today. The brutal, illegal and unnecessary invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The latter of which led directly to an age of ISIS beheading videos. You need to care less about about the marriage of Brad and Angelina and more about role your National Endowment for Democracy played in the Arab spring that led to the war in Syria.
You are not the good guy. You never have been. It is you, not Iran or Russia that is the major threat to the peace of the world. At home you, the American citizen, throughout U.S history have suffered greatly and continuously from poverty, sickness, lack of education, lack of real social mobility. Lets face it despite the myths most rich people get there like Trump, they inherit it. You lack the most basic social programs, healthcare, childcare and many more that are taken for granted in all the other industrially developed countries of the world that you continuously profess to lead. All while outspending the rest of the world combined on arms as well as spending 1,728,125,548073* just in the last 15 years on foreign wars. The power to make a better destiny for yourselves and your children is obviously in your hands. For the first time in your history, take it and show the world not what you are, but what you can be.
*that number grows by 8.36 million every hour of every day. National Priorities Project https://www.nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/war/