American Opportunities, American Unscrupulousness

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

It is often said that the USA is the land of unlimited opportunity. For me, this proud claim seems to come from a bygone era. I must have missed that time. And even if this statement was ever in common use – which it was -, it is inherently false: for not everyone has the doors open to them that are opened to others by skill and ability, and not infrequently by pure chance. Perhaps this is called the luck of life, and not everyone is a born academic. The non-academic or someone who has not progressed beyond a simple school-leaving certificate has no less value for society, because there must also be someone who puts his hand in the dirt to produce food. After all, well-heeled people can’t eat their money.

Over time, the sayings about the U.S. that circulated in Europe, especially after World War II, must have relativized themselves. Because the “freest country on this earth” has long ceased to exist. A country in which a very small upper class is allowed to hoard most of the wealth, almost untroubled by any legislation and at the visible expense of the majority of its own citizens, thereby restricting their possibilities, can hardly be considered unreservedly as a free land. A country that allows individuals to outsource entire branches of production to India or China because profit is more important than the well-being of their own compatriots is probably better served by the term “dictatorship of money.” And when it is obvious that any political, federal administration of this country, including the branches of legislature, stand idly by and watch these goings-on because they are part of the deal, then the structure of this country is almost taking on mafia-like forms.

Taking all these phenomena into account, the arc from the American oligarchy mentioned here to the events of January 6, 2021, is not stretched far. For the storming of the Capitol by propaganda-blinded hordes is nothing other than an expression of the abuse of American idealism by the influence of power and money – led by unscrupulous, populist politicians interested only in their own selfish gain. The fact that they are risking the fate of the entire country in the process is apparently not realized by millions of Americans, which no longer rules out Donald Trump’s return to the White House.