British Trumpers, Media Bootlicking, and WTF?!
A quick introduction: I live in the UK, in a suburb of London with my husband, two teenage boys and a Labradoodle. I did however, go to high school in Florida due to a bizarre turn of events in which my parents jetted off to Florida with some friends in 1980 and immediately smitten with the Florida lifestyle, decided to buy a house. My brother and I got a phone call one evening from the U.S. telling us we were moving. Although horrified at the time (I was 13 and my whole life was my best friend and the dogs) I won’t deny once I got there, I adored it (house on the Gulf of Mexico, beach, no uniform at school – what’s not to love) I loved it so much that after my parents returned (separately) I kept going back. My efforts took me to Texas, New York and California, but it never stuck and it was with a very heavy heart I said my goodbyes over a decade later and returned to England. So, I have a somewhat unique perspective I suppose, having lived in both countries, even if it was many years ago in a very different era.
I have never lost my love of the country and what it stands for, or stood for. I see America as a place where civil liberties are held high. I won’t pretend to be any kind of expert on your Constitution, but freedom of speech, press and religion are mentioned in your Bill of Rights and that is something to be proud of. The Conservative government in the UK was meant to have similar beliefs, however in these times of COVID they have flagrantly abandoned any kind of Libertarian principles. I worry that your new president is about to do the same.
Lately I’ve been hearing about this new idea that America’s foundation is questionable and its Constitutional guarantee of liberty is dangerous. My initial reaction to that is WTF?! If Trump said the First Amendment needed to be amended, that dangerous ideas should not be given free expression, there would be outrage (albeit masked and socially distanced).
I see the endless propaganda being spewed out – my favourite - "The grown-ups are back in the Whitehouse." In both our countries I have to ask, “Have main-stream-media completely given up on holding the government accountable, or will it just be endless bootlicking and over dramatization?” Many Brits are tuning out of the BBC and even cancelling their TV license (money paid to the BBC for the privilege of having no commercials) in an attempt to break away from the national narrative that’s being hammered home morning, noon and night. But the majority believe every word that comes out of their television (and this is only main-stream media). They hated Trump and they want to love anyone who quite literally, isn’t him, despite many remembering Biden’s Kinnock blunder in the late 80’s where he plagiarized a British Labour leader; I believe it contributed to him losing that election.
In recent days, the new president has signed off on an order ‘Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation’. I believe in everyone’s human rights, every living being (animals too, as far as humanly possible!) should be able to be whoever they want to be and believe whatever they want to believe, however, in reality what does that mean for women? Will they no longer have the right to a single sex bathroom? This may seem trivial but looking ahead to the future, how far will this go? But let’s see, much of the British public seem to think the Democrats will do a better job (although many liked Trump but don’t want to admit it) and those that do are usually the same people who believe in liberty above all and are fighting against the lockdown restrictions. These two beliefs seem to go hand in hand.
Over here in the UK even Brexit has been overshadowed by the pandemic. We are being treated like naughty children, blamed if the cases are rising and yet locked down either way. We’re coming up to a year now of interrupted education, being told where we can go, when we can do it and what we should wear for the privilege. Masks are everywhere, if I were to have a rant, I would rant about that – the majority of the population are just following the rules (they are literally to scared not to) but there is no government mandate about covering up when you’re outside and yet everywhere I go, I am greeted with people wearing muzzles in take-out lines, school grounds, even walking their dogs (?!?!). I see it’s the same over there, and one of the things I loved about Trump was his laissez-fair attitude to masks and his ability to play down the drama on Covid. He seemed to have perspective and that is something sorely needed at the moment. It’s taught me that whatever is expected from those who like to obsess and overreact, they will always take it further. Local councils have introduced their own Covid rules; doctors, dentists and opticians have all added to the drama by locking their doors and bringing in their own rules and regulations that go even further than those the government have imposed. Why? What’s the message behind the hysteria? I wish I knew but at least I am asking the question.
Candida is a native Londoner, seasoned educator, wife, and mother of two teenage boys. Above all else, she values freedom and the freedom of expression made available to all through civil rights. Having spent many years of her life in the United States, Candida cherishes the ‘American spirit’ and considers herself a ‘freedom warrior,’ standing up for individual rights, calling out tyranny and offering a unique perspective on the issues that affect us all.
Drop a comment below; she'd love to hear from you!