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I Feel Sorry For Americans

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‘I Feel Sorry for Americans’: A Baffled World Watches the U.S.

From the New York Times

By Hannah Beech

From Myanmar to Canada, people are asking: How did a superpower allow itself to be felled by a virus? And why won’t the president commit to a peaceful transition of power?

Myanmar is a poor country struggling with open ethnic warfare and a coronavirus outbreak that could overload its broken hospitals. That hasn’t stopped its politicians from commiserating with a country they think has lost its way.

“I feel sorry for Americans,” said U Myint Oo, a member of parliament in Myanmar. “But we can’t help the U.S. because we are a very small country.”

The same sentiment prevails in Canada, one of the most developed countries. Two out of three Canadians live within about 60 miles of the American border.

“Personally, it’s like watching the decline of the Roman Empire,” said Mike Bradley, the mayor of Sarnia, an industrial city on the border with Michigan, where locals used to venture for lunch.

Amid the pandemic and in the run-up to the presidential election, much of the world is watching the United States with a mix of shock, chagrin and, most of all, bafflement.

How did a superpower allow itself to be felled by a virus? And after nearly four years during which President Trump has praised authoritarian leaders and obscenely dismissed some other countries as insignificant and crime-ridden, is the United States in danger of exhibiting some of the same traits he has disparaged?

“The U.S.A. is a first-world country but it is acting like a third-world country,” said U Aung Thu Nyein, a political analyst in Myanmar.

Adding to the sense of bewilderment, Mr. Trump has refused to embrace an indispensable principle of democracy, dodging questions about whether he will commit to a peaceful transition of power after the November election should he lose.

His demurral, combined with his frequent attacks on the balloting process, earned a rebuke from Republicans, including Senator Mitt Romney of Utah. “Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power,” Mr. Romney wrote on Twitter. “Without that, there is Belarus.”

In Belarus, where tens of thousands of people have faced down the police after the widely disputed re-election last month of President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, Mr. Trump’s remarks sounded familiar.

“It reminds me of Belarus, when a person cannot admit defeat and looks for any means to prove that he couldn’t lose,” said Kiryl Kalbasnikau, a 29-year-old opposition activist and actor. “This would be a warning sign for any democracy.”

Some others in Europe are confident that American institutions are strong enough to withstand assault.

“I have no doubt in the ability of the constitutional structures of the United States with their system of checks and balances to function,” said Johann Wadephul of Germany, a senior lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.

Still, that the president of the United States, the very country that shepherded the birth of Germany’s own peaceful democracy after the defeat of the Third Reich, was wavering on the sanctity of the electoral process has been met with disbelief and dismay.

The diminution of the United States’ global image began before the pandemic, as Trump administration officials snubbed international accords and embraced an America First policy. Now, though, its reputation seems to be in free-fall.

A Pew Research Center poll of 13 countries found that over the past year, nations including Canada, Japan, Australia and Germany have been viewing the United States in its most negative light in years. In every country surveyed, the vast majority of respondents thought the United States was doing a bad job with the pandemic.

Such global disapproval historically has applied to countries with less open political systems and strongmen in charge. But people from just the kind of developing countries that Mr. Trump has mocked say the signs coming from the United States are ominous: a disease unchecked, mass protests over racial and social inequality, and a president who seems unwilling to pledge support for the tenets of electoral democracy.

Mexico, perhaps more than any other country, has been the target of Mr. Trump’s ire, with the president using it as a campaign punching bag and vowing to make Mexicans pay for a border wall. Now they are feeling a new emotion that has overtaken their anger and bewilderment at Trumpian insults: sympathy.

“We used to look to the U.S. for democratic governance inspiration,” said Eduardo Bohórquez, the director of Transparency International Mexico. “Sadly, this is not the case anymore.”

“‘Being great’ is simply not enough,” he added.

In Indonesia, the most populous Muslim-majority democracy, there is a sense that the United States has left the world adrift, even if its application overseas of democratic ideals was imperfect. For decades, Washington supported some of Asia’s most ruthless dictators because they were considered vital to halting communism in the region.

“The world sees the dismantling of social cohesion within American society and the mess in managing Covid,” said Yenny Wahid, an Indonesian politician and activist. “There is a vacuum of leadership that needs to be filled, but America is not fulfilling that leadership role.”

Ms. Wahid, whose father was president of Indonesia after the country emerged from decades of strongman rule, said she worried that Mr. Trump’s dismissive attitude toward democratic principles could legitimize authoritarians.

“Trump inspired many dictators, many leaders who are interested in dictatorship, to copy his style, and he emboldened them,” she said.

In places like the Philippines, Mexico and others, elected leaders have been compared to Mr. Trump when they have turned to divisive rhetoric, disregard of institutions, intolerance of dissent and antipathy toward the media.

But there is also a sense that Americans are now getting a glimpse of the troubles people living in fragile democracies must endure.

“They now know what it’s like in other countries: violating norms, international trade and its own institutions,” said Eunice Rendon, an expert on migration and security and the director of Migrant Agenda, a nonprofit organization in Mexico. “The most powerful country in the world all of a sudden looks vulnerable.”

Already, an American passport, which once allowed easy access to almost every country in the world, is no longer a valuable travel pass. Because of the coronavirus, American tourists are banned from most of Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America.

Albania, Brazil and Belarus are among a small group of countries welcoming Americans with no restrictions, however.

The State Department has tried to play up its role in battling the coronavirus overseas, even as the United States struggled to supply its own doctors and nurses with adequate equipment early in the pandemic. In March, the United States provided 10,000 gloves and 5,000 surgical masks, among other medical supplies, to Thailand, which today has recorded fewer than 3,520 coronavirus cases and 59 deaths. Despite the low caseload, most Thais continue to wear face masks in public and the country never suffered a mask shortage.

“Through the American people’s generosity and the U.S. government’s action, the United States continues to demonstrate global leadership in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic,” a State Department statement said.

In Cambodia, which reports being largely spared by the virus so far, there is a measure of schadenfreude toward the United States. Prime Minister Hun Sen has survived as Asia’s longest serving leader by cracking down on dissent and cozying up to China. He has turned his back on American aid because it often came with conditions to improve human rights. Now, he and his administration are ridiculing the United States and its handling of the pandemic.

“He has many nuclear weapons,” Sok Eysan, a spokesman for Mr. Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party, said of Mr. Trump. “But he is careless with a disease that can’t be seen.”

 

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“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

 

Twitter: @HKTheResistance

 

HipKat, on *** other h***, is genuine, unapoli***tically nasty, and w**** his hea** on his ******. jc856

I’ll just forward them to Bridgett. comssvet11

Seek help. soflabillsfan

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Move to China, Russia, Cambodia or other fun countries, you Trump-hating shit.  We all know that will never happen.  LOL.  Fuck you.

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8 hours ago, JoeFerguson said:

Hip. Who gives a fuck. The dems are responsible for Trump. 

We're all responsible for Trump. Trump didn't just happen. This has been coming for years. The real fissure that created such an expansive divide really began when Clinton was president. Although then, the Republicans that started the coup were the moral majority. That's not what Republicans are today. Democrats were more Conservative and that's sure not what Democrats are today. George Bush was revenge for Clinton. Look at how that election went. Once the SCOTUS made their decision, the ball really got rolling.

Bush could have stopped it. He did, actually, after 9/11 when we stood together, but his attack on Iraq sent us in opposite directions, again and it's never stopped. We've never stopped moving away form each other and with the advent of Social Media, giving everyone a free platform to express their opinions. 

Of course, when no one's listening, those opinions became self-proclaimed facts and anyone who agreed helped spread them from user to user.

The next worse thing to happen was Obama. a black man with a Muslim name at a time when we were still bombarded with the War on Terror on a daily basis, the divide between left and wide took a huge leap and suddenly, the Right were racists and the left were crusaders for the people that believed that Obama would lift them out of their struggles. Hence, the accusations of "free-everything" which the Left only expanded with ridiculous political platforms and promises.

McConnell drew a Demarcation line in the sand when he expressed his "Job was to make Obama a 1-term President." And that's when both sides started to brazenly attack each other. Trump found a coattail to jump on. He started to stir the pot even more and that just got both sides more riled up and more with animosity turned on each other. 

And here we are...

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“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

 

Twitter: @HKTheResistance

 

HipKat, on *** other h***, is genuine, unapoli***tically nasty, and w**** his hea** on his ******. jc856

I’ll just forward them to Bridgett. comssvet11

Seek help. soflabillsfan

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Global influence and power is a zero-sum game. There are three great powers, China, Russia, and the United States. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the US stood unrivalled and unchallenged in its global reach and influence. However, ironically, at the same time the US began stepping back, leaving a vacuum. That vacuum must be filled. Of course, it has been filled, primarily by China, but also by Russia. In every region, in every nation where the US has decreased its influence it has been challenged or supplanted by China or Russia.

Americans tend to be quite ignorant of what takes place beyond their own borders unless it somehow manages to be shocking enough to make the news. Do Americans care about China's deft expansion of its influence through soft power? Do Americans care about Russia, directly and indirectly, challenging our forces around the world? Do Americans care about those nations caught in between the great powers, who have been shaken to their cores and are left in an uncertain situation, forced to choose between the United States, the declining hegemon, or China, the ascendant hegemon?

Our choices here at home have profound ramifications abroad, and our recent political choices here have left allies rattled and have created openings that are being actively exploited by the other great powers.

 


“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

 

Twitter: @HKTheResistance

 

HipKat, on *** other h***, is genuine, unapoli***tically nasty, and w**** his hea** on his ******. jc856

I’ll just forward them to Bridgett. comssvet11

Seek help. soflabillsfan

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9 hours ago, HipKat said:

Obama. a HALF black man

its an important distinction

if an american with a israeli mother and palestinian father became president, we would be offended if s/he tried to ignore one heritage. same for any other two pure ethnic groups. you got a eskimo and a japanese it would be the same story

his mama was LILY WHITE. his father was charcoal black. that makes him a mixed heritage

i find it offensive, ignorant, and dangerous we just ignore the white side

no offense to you, this is a common error. but it has to stop. the one drop rule was offensive when whites forced it on blacks. there are other examples around the world and throughout history, they are all offensive and lead to bad things

imagine if we had the emotional health on this issue to embrace Obama's whiteness, celebrate it like we do his blackness, express joy that we could have such a beautifully perfect mixed race in the white house. things would be a lot different today


One set of rules for all in the beloved community

"The word racism is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything, and demanding evidence makes you a 'racist' " - Thomas Sowell

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1 hour ago, Meathead said:

its an important distinction

if an american with a israeli mother and palestinian father became president, we would be offended if s/he tried to ignore one heritage. same for any other two pure ethnic groups. you got a eskimo and a japanese it would be the same story

his mama was LILY WHITE. his father was charcoal black. that makes him a mixed heritage

i find it offensive, ignorant, and dangerous we just ignore the white side

no offense to you, this is a common error. but it has to stop. the one drop rule was offensive when whites forced it on blacks. there are other examples around the world and throughout history, they are all offensive and lead to bad things

imagine if we had the emotional health on this issue to embrace Obama's whiteness, celebrate it like we do his blackness, express joy that we could have such a beautifully perfect mixed race in the white house. things would be a lot different today

The people that don't like Obama because of his heritage don't see the White half

 


“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

 

Twitter: @HKTheResistance

 

HipKat, on *** other h***, is genuine, unapoli***tically nasty, and w**** his hea** on his ******. jc856

I’ll just forward them to Bridgett. comssvet11

Seek help. soflabillsfan

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Nobody sees the white half. Hardly nobody anyway. That's the problem. That's why we have white people out marching with black lives matter even they don't know what the hell extremist platform they stand for. Quite frankly, they are too stupid to go look it up and educate themselves, which is a common malady among most people

But this Obama is black crap is bad enough on its own. If it was any other two races we would be offended that the individual tried to represent themselves as only one of the two. But simply because it's white it's perfectly okay to ignore that purely half of his heritage. We get lectured all the time about how important Black Culture is, we get told all the time about how evil white culture is, and this ignoring of his white half is a direct result of that

This is one sick ass country when it comes to race


One set of rules for all in the beloved community

"The word racism is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything, and demanding evidence makes you a 'racist' " - Thomas Sowell

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7 minutes ago, Meathead said:

This is one sick ass country when it comes to race

And that's by design...

 

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If the world felt sorry for us before, they have to be in shock watching America crumble. 

I said we were ripe for the pickins 3 years ago. No time better to take a hit than when our guard is down


“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

 

Twitter: @HKTheResistance

 

HipKat, on *** other h***, is genuine, unapoli***tically nasty, and w**** his hea** on his ******. jc856

I’ll just forward them to Bridgett. comssvet11

Seek help. soflabillsfan

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