The World is America. End of the World means End of the United States of America. It is the place where forces of good and evil will fight their last battle. It is the place that breeds the saviors. This has been and still is the primary premise in most armageddon themed hollywood movies.
But in some ways, this presumption is not entirely fictional and narcissistic.
America is – too much. It eats too much. It shits too much. It gives too much. It takes too much. It is the superpower that wields super powers. Even if millions of its citizens live in poverty, it is a country that is rich and decadent with the wealth of weapons and a bottomless need and power to trade. It is the law and its enforcer, the judge and the jury. It is a country that made a hulking villain out of a nascent socio-economic 'idea' and sold us capitalism and corporatization of human senses as the only true liberator. It is an entity that created global terrorism and now receives accolades for protecting us from it with all its might. It. is. the. world. We are merely followers - in peace or war, in love or hatred, in alliance or defiance.
So when America 'democratically' elects a president that not only does bad things but says them too , it leaves us in utter frenzy – when really nothing has changed except words and faces. Just the sugar from the coating is amiss. Some of us cannot handle the sour truth. Others are busy promoting it. Brands are being built and destroyed, political images are being refurbished or crushed. Social media is (over) charged with bipolar views. Funds are being raised, protests are being held, old stereotypes are being challenged with freshly baked ones. The leader of the 'Free World' is saying what is and has always been.
It is proof that words speak much louder than actions.
The wars that have been manufactured, funded and profited from are forgotten. The war refugees' right to live and breathe in their own homes is not under any scrupulous scrutiny. But the decision to ban those refugees from seeking shelter in the arms of the war mongers is causing extreme devastation and outcry. There are 13.5 million Syrians in need of humanitarian aid. Over 4.8 million are displaced outside their country. America has given shelter to 10,000 with 18,000 total possible settlements. The last president supported 7 wars and gave shelter to a minuscule percent of the victims of some of those wars. The current president is playing a smaller game with much crassness. He is no politician (yet). He will learn the ways and trade his petty need for attention for diplomacy and real power. He will learn the ways of his predecessors. Or he will be replaced by someone who can maintain intellectual peace and keep social media revolutions within manageable limits. Who would know how to bait the minds and hearts just enough to remain the victim and the defender.
Despite the hypocrisy of the situation, it is still good to see the loud difference between 'America' and 'Americans' at this time. It is good to see that in a country with strong intentions, there are many inhabitants with good intentions. That there are still some things that have the capacity, albeit temporary, to unite the people of all kinds in a world that is bigger than America.
As an immigrant, it is also faintly satisfying to see the fresh wave of sympathy for those who have left their own countries to escape tyranny, bigotry or suppression, and chose to live in eternal re-settlement, with fears of new kinds. Sympathy that acknowledges on a mass social media scale that they are 'humans' after all.
I stay curious and wait. When will our attention span run out? When will we move on to the next rant, objection or disagreement? When will we get bored with this leader , who was democratically elected on the merits of his bigotry that in the form of executive orders does not seem so bearable.
Against all my cynicism, I wish this progresses to something that targets not just one leader but the years of hatred that he represents and we harbour – that exists in all corners of the world and the rest. I wish this opens our minds and hearts even more, until we stop judging good and evil as black or white, Muslim or Christian, East or West, immigrant or citizen.
And while we protest and I wait, Pakistan (my own home country) has just acquitted 112 suspects involved in torching hundreds of Christian homes a few years ago. The most progressive - lost and found - social media activists in my country have been silenced by the authorities in their 'not talked about' ways. Reported and unreported body counts have risen in countries where blatant or clandestine wars are in big business. Life and death, good and evil, freedom and oppression – go on, uninterrupted.