By GB News Presenter and former MEP Alex Phillips
The land of the free now dominated by balkanised battles between contradicting freedoms, the home of the brave now an international coward.
The American dream. The ethos of the free world. A world in which prosperity, liberty and individualism have underscored a culture exported throughout the globe. From Hollywood to McDonalds, Facebook to Friends, Americanism is inherently intertwined with the lives of almost every last human on the planet.
A continent of great geographical diversity able to accommodate every imaginable permutation of civilisation, the much vaunted multiplicity of a nation held up as modernity’s big social experiment, a melting pot of multiculturalism.
Yet today’s America comes across as fractured and fragile, divided and tragically cartoonish. Her main export is now social media, whose pervasive influence emanating from Silicon Valley choreographs and curates interactions across the world, a handful of dot com billionaires conducting a transglobal choir of humanity.
Yet the same social media has sawn America into pieces, pitting people against one another through a web of dehumanising algorithms, black against white, left against right.
From plurality to polarity, the hashtag culture of social justice and civil rights on steroids an unwelcome American imposter across much of the West.
America, who once called time on World War and modelled itself as the international custodian of democracy, today hangs its head in shame as Afghanistan falls into the hands of extremists, the greatest foreign policy humiliation since the Vietnam war.
The Trump years reframed how the world regarded America, led by a comic strip villain who embodied a transformational shift in the politics of The West, an underclass finding voice and rising up against a concentrated form of cultural control, opposing the so-called luxury ideologies of the metropolitan elite.
The existential crisis that has gripped America is luridly laid bare for the world to see, constantly at war with herself. From Antifa and BLM to the Proud Boys, the Westboro Baptist church to the trans rights movement, the tug of war between gun lobbyists against a bloody backdrop of mass shootings, unbridled capitalism feeding off the trends of cultural Marxism, conflict and debate rages throughout the constellation of diverse states embodied in the stars and stripes.
But America has never done anything with subtlety nor nuance. Her supersize everything motto resonates in the amplification of the struggle for ideological control.
One of the only democratised nations to still use the death penalty, the extremes of America are anathema to most other Western nations. There are things about America that are hard to understand, a direct product of fierce individualism in a country of often incompatible diversity.
America has throughout history tried to represent a global ideal, set the tone and remodel the world in her image. The backlash against her culture as the Twin Towers fell sent shockwaves across the planet, the scars of that atrocity freshly torn open as the heart of the Middle East has once again been dramatically seized by the allies of the 9/11 perpetrators.
Where is the America, as Afghanistan burns? Is she losing her geopolitical dominance? The World’s most powerful nation visibly quaking at the insurgent economic might of China, her democracy mocked by Russia, her values taunted by the Taliban.
Distracted by her own identity crisis, the United States has become an ironic moniker for a continent fighting over what it is, and what it should be. The land of the free now dominated by balkanised battles between contradicting freedoms, the home of the brave now an international coward.
Today… we really need to talk about America.
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© 2021 Alex Phillips