I don’t claim to have any of the best answers for fixing everything that is wrong with the USA today. Actually, the reading of stellar and credible journalism is imperative for American citizens to engage in critical thinking; this can’t be found in the form of reading a newspaper such as USA Today(hey, I ended the previous sentences with the same two words!). However, I discovered that leaving the USA was the best start for me. You wouldn’t guess from my Austrian surname, but I have maternal ancestors who were passengers on the Mayflower in November of 1620. My solution to dealing with the former democracy known as the United States was created by reversing the course of my ancestors in righting an old wrong in honour of their lapse in judgment. Yes, I am an expatriate who currently resides in England. Is this another example of American exceptionalism? Nope. I am an extremely unexceptional person who was lucky enough to have the option of leaving the USA for an upgrade. I was also lucky to find an Italian resident of England who loves me; this is an exceptional woman who is able to look beyond my lack of exceptionalism whether American or not.
Do you remember the scene in the movie Animal House(1978) in which four members of the Delta fraternity find themselves as White minorities in the African-American Dexter Lanes club? A Latino-American patron says to the Deltas, after witnessing their dates were taken by male patrons of colour, a famous line: “If I was in your shoes, I’d be…’leaving. What a good idea!” The statement was completed by fraternity brother Boone before the man could finish his observation. In general and historically, leaving has been my solution to many problems experienced in life since childhood, as I am the “king of transfers.” I have been able to transfer every level of education that I attended; I transferred grade schools, high school, colleges, Master’s degree programs, and I thought about transferring from a doctoral program due to its immature and conservative students who annoyed me. However, I find myself in the unique and fortunate position of having transferred nations of residence. Although it is true that England is a dying empire with its loss of power and prestige in the world since World War II, but it has accepted defeat with a combination of humility(humiliation?) and insanity(Brexit). The USA, on the other hand, is in denial about its position as a dying and ageing empire that experienced its heyday in the past. Who will become the world detest superpower in the near future? China. Despite its status as a communist nation, China has strengthened itself with vulture capitalism by lending money to other nations(United States borrowed billions of dollars to finance two wars in the Middle East in 2001 and 2003) with interest rates that produce an exorbitant sum of revenue. In order to be more exceptional as an expatriate, I will have to find employment at some point in the future when residence is established; this is despite the fact that my ancestors(Priscilla Mullins and John Alden) were once the resident of the Surrey county when I am currently residing. Alas, England can take comfort in knowing that I am not a vulture capitalist with the bravado of an American businessman. I am merely a failed musician and former psychologist who knows when to leave…a good idea, indeed.
Paul Haider, England