I’ve avoided writing about the conventions because both the Republican and Democratic parties disgust me – no point in driving myself mad elaborating on that in writing when it’s the topic of so many of my daily conversations.

But I was taken aback to turn on the broadcast tonight to see General John Allen, the former Commander of US forces in Afghanistan, proclaiming a vision of shared values that includes “all ethnicities, races, and faiths,” set to a backdrop of veterans and a roaring “USA” chant from the crowd. This man and his armed forces have the blood of so many brown people on his hands. Other brown people or gay people killing those people is still people killing people.

This man proclaimed proudly that “the American military will continue to be the shining example of America at our very best,” and will not “become an instrument of torture.” Surely he knows our military does engage in war crimes, indefinite detention, and systematically rapes women, including their fellow female soldiers. And yet, the crowd carried on chanting: “USA, USA.” Reportedly this chant gained strength as a way to cover up scattered chants of “No More War” from some of the Sanders delegates. If anything, that anti-war sentiment is beyond decorum at the convention only makes it worse.

“To our enemies: We will pursue you as only America can. You will fear us.” he concluded, and the crowd went wild. As only America can? I can only presume this is a reference to the US military’s ability to flout international war conventions, with drone strikes occasionally killing even our own citizens alongside dozens and dozens of innocents from other countries. People celebrating weddings, people whose only crime is existence outside our borders: that is what John Allen means by pursuing our enemies “as only America can.”

Militaristic embrace of the same old US exceptionalism recast in a multicultural sheen. A set of “principles” broad enough to allow Democratic leadership to invite NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to speak on the same stage as the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and Sandra Bland. This the truth of the Democratic Party. This is it’s core – more pernicious than the GOP because it is superficially diverse. No, these parties are not the same. Yes, in many ways, Trump is worse than Clinton. But maybe, just maybe, this will be the election cycle so unapologetically repugnant to convince enough of us that neither the Republicans or the Democrats are for us. These are their parties, the rich donors who power both. All we have is each other.

But by definition, the numbers are on our side. We just have to get as organized as the people we’re up against.

One thought on “USA, USA

  1. You’re absolutely right on this. I believe a vast majority of the people, across the political spectrum, believe the truth of these words. The trouble is that far too many have a fear of “the other, or fear the disorder that is inevitable when upsetting the apple cart. Mainstream media is the propaganda arm of the oligarchy that foments and uses these fears to maintain their position in the world. Too much of the alternative media are either half baked conspiracists or single interest fanatics that can’t see the forest for the trees.
    At 54 years of age, I’ve nearly given up hope that governments will ever care about the planet, or humanity writ large. That businesses work for the betterment of the communities they service is but a fable told to sophomore MBA track students to hold them steady until they’re sucked in by greed. Economists are so blinded by the complexity of their mathematical formulae that they’ve completely forgotten what the economy is for, the distribution of resources to those who need them.
    I’ve got perhaps 2 presidential cycles after the current fiasco where I may give a shit, after that, it doesn’t matter to me. My children will be educated & (hopefully) on their own & I’ll have a couple years or decades to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Yes, Hillary is better than The Donald. Yes, I’m fairly certain that I can get drunk enough to vote for her, but I’m damn sick of having to settle because the comfortable middle fears a little disorder.


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