I’m going to try to explain something here after watching the Democratic National Convention this evening that’ll invite the scorn of many of my friends. However, the words are gagging my throat, my stomach is twisted and sick, and I have to vomit this out. The anti-Americanism in me is about to explode… and God knows where as my rage is well beyond reason. By heritage I’m half-American, in a way that makes me “more” American than almost anyone else in this country except for the true Americans, the American Indians. I’m in utter denial tonight that I am, as you are, American as well. We must find and elect alternatives to the Wall Street-backed oligarchy, the warmongers, and the anti-humanitarians. We must find and elect people who represent the people.
I’m half-Canadian, I was brought up there, with very different values than you Americans hold (Kidder’s father was a stout conservative Republican: editors), and tonight… after the endless spit-ups, boasts, and rants about the greatness of American militarism, praise for American military strength, boasts about wiping out ISIS, and America being the strongest country on earth, and an utterly inane story from a woman whose son died in Obama’s war, about how she got to cry in gratitude on Obama’s shoulder… tonight, I feel deeply Canadian. Every subtle lesson I was ever subliminally given about the bullies across the border and their rudeness, their lack of education, their self-given right to bomb whoever they wanted in the world for no reason other than that they wanted something the people in the other country had, and their greed, came oozing to the surface of my psyche.
I just got back from a rather fierce walk beside the Yellowstone River here in Montana, trying to let the mountains in the distance reconnect me to some place of goodness in my soul, but I couldn’t find it. The scenery was as exquisite as ever, but it just couldn’t touch the rage in my heart. The visions of all the dead children in Syria that Hillary Clinton helped to kill; the children bombed to bits in Afghanistan and Pakistan from Obama’s drones, the grisly chaos of Libya, the utter wasteland of Iraq, the death and destruction everywhere caused by American military intervention. The Ukraine, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, you name it… your country has bombed it or destroyed its civilian life in some basic way. When I heard all the Americans cheering for the military and the pronouncements of might coming from the speakers in the Wells Fargo Centre, I loathed you. I loathed every single one of you. I knew in my gut that what they taught me as a child was true, which is that YOU are the enemy. YOU are the country to fear. YOU are the country to be disgusted by. YOU are ignorant. Moreover, your greed, self-satisfaction, and unearned pride knows no bounds.
I’m not an American tonight. I reject my Puritan ancestors who landed in this country in 1648. I reject the words I voiced at my citizenship ceremony. I reject every moment of thrilling discovery I ever had in this country. You people have no idea what it is like for people from other countries to hear you boast and cheer for your guns, your bombs, your soldiers, your murderous military leaders, your war criminals, and your murdering and conscienceless Commander-in-Chief. The rest of us, us non-Americans, receive all those soaring words by all the cells in our body as absolutely repugnant and obscene. There you all are tonight, glued to your TVs and your computers, your hearts swelled with pride because you belong to the strongest country on Earth, cheering on your Murderer President, ignorant of the entire world’s repulsion. You kill and you kill and you kill, and still you remain proud.
We are fools.
29 July 2016