Nina, you wrote; “Nations never build apparently radical forms of government on foundations that aren’t there already,” Atwood wrote in The Guardian in 2012. “And the deep foundation of the US…[is] the heavy-handed theocracy of 17th-century Puritan New England, with its marked bias against women, which would need only the opportunity of a period of social chaos to reassert itself.”
“All of which sounds a little uncomfortable at the moment.”
Wouldn’t Europe, struggling with the clash between the existing secular culture and millions of sudden immigrants who were raised in societies very much like that described in the Handmaid’s Tale, be a far more legitimate, and more important issue worth discussion?
You built your entire essay around the possibility that current political thought in the US is uncomfortably close to devolving into the archaic society portrayed in the book.
Candidly, the risks of the US devolving into a Old Testament Theocratic dictatorship is beyond nil. But there are several majority Muslim nations currently controlled by dictators answerable to religious leaders who hold to an Old Testament style value system while at the same time there are millions of conservative but not radical Muslim refugees fleeing war, corruption and poverty at home and flooding Europe.
Why not an essay discussing the commonalities of the book to rigid Christian evangelicals and the leaders of ISIS, or analyzing exactly why such a huge percentage of terrorist bombers are second generation immigrants who have either been marginalized or failed to integrate, or looking for clues on just how to integrate millions of people with those values into a secular society?
I’m not angry you try to paint conservatives with the same brush as the leaders of a dystopian America, comparisons like that are a dime a dozen.
I’m angry that with glaringly obvious real world connections between the novel and Islamic societies numbering in the billions, and with Europe struggling to absorb millions of those refugees, you ignored a truly global story to make a tenuous point about an election.