The Terrorist in the Mirror

Questioning my American identity….

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As I go through my morning ritual of putting on makeup and blowing out my hair, staring back at me in the mirror is Don John Trump. I can’t escape him, the supposed leader of America, the country where I was born, grew up, and will always love…but now seems to be the setting for a reality horror show. Is he really representative of all Americans, even me?

Lipstick on a pig.

Red Stiletto…Retro Rouge…Vintage Rose…. No matter what shade I try, I see staring back at me the clown-like visage of Don John Trump. I want to scream! It’s truly terrifying.

If the goal of radical Islamic terrorists is to disrupt and ultimately destroy Western Civilization, then their most effective accomplice— either through willful ignorance or psychological infirmity — has got to be Don John Trump. Not content with leaving behind a stink bomb at NATO and G-7 meetings in Europe, he then did his absolute best — like a suicide bomber — to the blow up the Paris Climate Accord.

In so doing, Trump has awakened an anti-Americanism not seen since the Vietnam War. It’s painfully palpable to an expat like me. To paraphrase words from the late great essayist and public intellectual Tony Judt:

Trump represents a selfish, individualistic society devoted to commerce, profit, and the despoliation of the planet. He is as uncaring of its own poor and sick as it is indifferent to the rest of humankind. He rides roughshod over international laws and treaties and threatens the moral, environmental, and physical future of humanity….He is, in short, a bull in the global china shop, wreaking havoc.

In addition to the terrorists, Russia couldn’t be happier. So is Donald Trump simply Putin’s Puppet? Or is something deeper, darker at work? Bubbling to the surface, manifested in the Trump Malignancy, are angry resentments shared not only by terrorists but presumably by Trump’s so-called “base?”

Representing approximately 35% of the American electorate, this base seems to be the only people Trump cares about. He’s never even tried to be the leader of all Americans. (For a the truly terrifying historical footnote: only 35% of Germans brought Hitler to power.)

If Don John Trump doesn’t care about being the leader of the remaining 65% of Americans, including me, maybe I should find another leader. Angela Merkel comes to mind! Or Emmanuel Macron!

I wonder how hard it is to become a German or French citizen? Oh, what I wouldn’t give for an EU passport right now!

Then maybe, just maybe — no longer the citizen of a country whose leader is Donald Trump — I could once again look in the mirror without horror. And more importantly, without shame.

Proudly born, raised and schooled on the U.S. East Coast, Joy has lived and worked in Zurich, Switzerland, the last couple of years. But like an ever increasing number of American expats as well as native European students and tourists, she has absolutely no desire to travel to what is now Trumpville.

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