Pacific Dialogue
The beginning of the end, of the American legend
By Liu Yunyun  ·  2021-01-15  ·   Source: NO.3 JANUARY 21, 2021

  

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather near the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the United States, January 6 (XINHUA)  

Imagine this: A state leader was betrayed by his deputy and was completely cut off from his supporters; the opposition took control of the media and the military; angry protesters stormed the parliamentary building, demanding the election result be overturned; key officials resigned; finally, the leader was coerced into announcing a curfew effective until power was handed over to the opposition.

Everything perfectly scripted so far… except that the United States hasn't announced sanctions against that nation yet.

As Lebanese diplomat Mohamad Safa commented on the January 6 U.S. Capitol Hill chaos, "If the United States saw what the United States is doing in the United States, the United States would invade the United States to liberate the United States from the tyranny of the United States."

How could it be possible that the self-invented "Twitter revolution" backfired? After some serious soul searching, the Big Tech muzzled Donald Trump, the most prominent American dissident, proving to the whole world that free speech in America is nothing but a joke.

The U.S. mainstream media love to mock Trump as the vain emperor who wore invisible magnificent clothes. But for us here in China, we see Trump as the child who blurted out the truth about American-style democracy.

Many of my generation looked up to the United States while growing up. We used to be inspired by the stories behind the Statue of Liberty—ordinary people's search for survival, freedom and opportunities. We watched Hollywood blockbusters and sitcoms and were amazed by the spectacle of computer-generated imagery and amused by American-style humor; we gasped in admiration at the height of the Empire State Building.

We were envious of Americans' free education and free medical services. Some were intrigued by the "one person, one vote" system and sought to import the same checks and balances, while quite a few eulogized Americans' First Amendment rights.

Until the Trump presidency.

The Capitol Hill insurrection is not an end to the American divisiveness, but the beginning of the great "American Delusion" (as opposed to The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, who got disenchanted after then President George W. Bush claimed that God had told him to invade Iraq).

Has Trump spoken the truth about the United States?

Yes, he has. If an election goes his way, it's a fair election; if it doesn't, then it's rigged. Cases in point: "Russian democracy is a farce" by CNN; "Venezuela's democracy is fake" by The Washington Post. And don't even get started on their attack on China's political system.

But the world is watching.

Though the Statue of Liberty still stands tall and formidable, a wall is being built in the land of the shining beacon of democracy where babies are torn away from their parents.

The Empire State Building remains New York City's skyline, but has lost its unique luster to the newer and taller skyscrapers in Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere.

As more Chinese are traveling and studying overseas, they come to realize that free education for the poor in the U.S. is inferior; the real money goes into the expensive private schools, while free medicare comes only after high monthly insurance payments.

The Americans can attack their president and elected officials, and pretend to have unrestricted information. But the sense of national unity and solidarity has fallen apart.

The checks and balances are intact, but now the more-than-ever urgent question is: Will the U.S. Government ever be able to reach a consensus within itself? And together with the people, will it be able to start renovating the country's crumbling infrastructure?

While Hollywood still serves as the soft power arm of the U.S., the fatigue brought about by watching too many Batman, Superman, Iron Man and Spider-Man (to name a few) series has made us realize that superheroes are only fantasies. It is the ordinary people and their wisdom and grit that are making this world a much better place.

The Great American Delusion has begun. Let's hope America can find its way forward and lead its people to be a fully inclusive and progressive nation again and re-awaken to the American Dream.

Copyedited by Sudeshna Sarkar 

Comments to liuyunyun@bjreview.com 

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