Having grown-up feeling grateful to the US of A, firstly for saving my own and the rest of the word’s sorry asses from Nazism and Nipponism, then for leading a war-shattered world back to peace and material prosperity and stirring our souls with everything from rock ‘n’ roll to its resolute defence of democracy, I miss its avuncular presence in the world.
Because the Uncle Sam of whom I was formerly so innocently and naively such a total fan has turned out to be such a sham.
My first reality check in this regard, as I recall, were the embarrassing or, if you prefer, embarrUSing anti-Communist witch-hunts whipped-up by that notorious nutter Senator McCarthy back in the 1950s.
And the virtually simultaneous revolt of white bigots, especially in Southern states, against President Eisenhower’s enlightened attempts to racially integrate the nation’s schools and universities.
Then, in the ‘60s, came that mother of all fiascos/fiUScos, the Vietnam War, and all its consequent squandering of lives, countless trillions of taxpayer dollars and, due to its support of an undemocratic, cowardly and corrupt South-Vietnamese regime and its eventual humiliating withdrawal if not defeat, a catastrophic loss of US credibility as a paragon of global power for the good.
While back home disunity ruled, due to the still-hotly-debated assassination of yet another president, followed by strident anti-war and, as usual/USual, more anti-racism protests.
And here and now, today, paradoxically, the self-styled “home of the brave” is afflicted with a leader so craven as to have dodged the military draft by means of the doubtful claim that he suffered “bone spurs”; and the “land of the free” can dubiUSly boast the highest rate of imprisonment of citizens on the planet.
I could go on and on historUSising here about Uncle Sam’s countless shams and scams, but that would give you the mistaken impression that I’m so disenchanted by the US as to be totally disgUSted.
While, on the contrary, I’ll always be thankful for the countless gifts its given me. Firstly, as mentioned above, freedom from the threat of being a subject of imperial Japan’s intended ‘Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere’, and since then virtually countless others.
For example, the first book I recall my father’s reading aloud to me and my siblings, Mark Twain’s great “Huckleberry Finn”; the first rock n rollers, like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis (ElvUS?) Presley and others too numerous to mention; a close-up view of the first Saturn rocket launch and first moon landing; the joy of reading such journalists as Tom Wolfe, David Halberstam and above all the supreme critic of all the failings and faults he deplored in his beloved America, the ‘Sage of Baltimore’, H.L. Mencken.
But, like the great Mencken, if on an altogether more miniature scale, I do have to admit to disappointment that the nation I’ve so long admired for being united in its regard for the enlightened ideas and ideals enshrined in its constitution is actually so riven by idiotic ideologies as to be in many ways its own worst enemy.
There’s nothing fun, for example, but a great deal that’s mental as insane about fundmentalist Christianity. Nor is there much profit in capitalism enabled or encouraged to such extremes of greed as to constitute outright crapitalism. Or freedom of speech when it extends to freedom to screech packs of lies and peddle pernicious neo-conservative propaganda like Fox ‘Fuck the Facts’ News and its ilk are permitted go get away with in support of the same Republican Party that was adorned by the great ‘Honest’ Abe Lincoln, and now so disgraces itself as to support the grUSome Donald Trump.
In the process having so perverted Lincoln’s vision of government as being “of the people, by the people, for the people” to something more like “of the people, by the rich people, forget the poor and otherwise powerless people.”
Especially those people, like Bernie Sanders and his supporters, who are so idealUStic as to call for more economic, social and medical equality for all, as well as protection from the increasingly dire degradation and dangerous warming of their living environment.
Protection too, and even more pressingly, from the coronaviral pandemic, about which, as with every other issue, the monstroUSly mendacioUS present POTUS, Donald Trump, has so persistently and poisonUSly obfUScated that this plague has taken such a world-beating toll of his people that it could justly be termed the coronavirUS.
And yet this hopelUS, uselUS, brainlUS, gormlUS and altogether fatuUS fraud still has the shamelUSness to try provoking conflict if not combat with China in a desperate scam to scare enough witlUS voters into supporting his bid for a second term in office.
In short, and in merciful conclusion, I hope I’ve made it clear why, with all his admitted imperfections, I so much miss old Uncle Sam, and so greatly wish there was some prospect of a replacement for him who’d turn out to be worth a goddam.