HAZEL SWAID THIS COULD NEVER HAPPEN TO ME

POLITICS | by HAZEL SWAID | 26 JULY 2020

THIS COULD NEVER HAPPEN TO ME

I never truly understood the extent to which people overestimated the power of the United States, myself included. We have been spoon fed this notion that the United States is an omnipotent sovereign entity that can never be infiltrated by corruption and havoc. The whole world can collectively conceptualize a society where corruption and abuse of authority runs rampant in parts of the Middle East and Africa- but that could never happen here. That’s what everyone says.

 

“That could never happen here”

 

We said that about Syria in March 2011 about the uprisings. “Yeah, sure. Arab Spring blah blah but a revolution will never happen in Syria.” Almost a decade of bloodshed later and we are eating those words and the khara 3alsanna. Why are we so reluctant to believe the glaringly obvious? Why do Americans believe we are immune to internal chaos? Have we been so blinded by nationalism that we have convinced ourselves of our own infallibility? 

I suppose we can thank the world economies for giving us this personal branding. Confirmation bias, in my estimation. Everyone believed that we were the shit, which is why so many immigrants are sold on the “American dream” and subsequently moved here- and we proudly wore that S on our chest. We believed so much that we were Superman, that we were oblivious to the idea that we could potentially be Darth Vader. I don’t know if that correlation made any sense whatsoever, but I’m sure you get my point. 

The current world economy is contingent on the prosperity of the American dollar. *Disclaimer, this is a think piece and not an economic meta-analysis so don’t take what I say too literally.* From what I’ve noticed on the Twitterverse, there has been an increasing level of mistrust in the American government and its foundational principles on a global scale. People in Germany are laughing at us. People in China and Scandinavia are laughing at us. All over the world, people are laughing at us. The 45th president of the United States has turned this country into an international laughing stock that transcends borders, political ideologies, religions, and languages. 

Whether or not Trump is “good for the economy” (I hate that argument), is absolutely irrelevant. First of all, the holistic prosperity of a country is not contingent SOLELY on economic infrastructure- although I agree it plays a large role. What good is that economic infrastructure if only a sliver of the population can enjoy the fruits of it, anyway? I’m digressing. That’s a think piece for another time..

 

My point is, we are so convinced that we are irrevocably immune to an existential internal strife that when it happens, the American people will get an incredibly rude awakening. There are truths and then there are meta-truths. The truth is this, the theories of a democratic republic that were set forth in the constitution is the Holy Grail of democratic legislation. The meta-truth is that the application and implementation of these theoretical rights is faulty and needs revision. The fact that half of this country cannot accept this meta-truth will usher in its own downfall. We are not outliers. We are not exceptions to a rule. As my friend Moe tweeted 46 minutes ago, “No civilization is destroyed from the outside until it destroys itself from within.”

 

America is not a world super power, it is a world supernova. 

Hazel Swaid is a graduate student of clinical psychology in Washington D.C.

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