Open letter to American voters

Posted on 19/10/2016


Dear voter

Let me start by a disclaimer. English is not my mother tongue, and although I consider my skills in that language to be acceptable, maybe I will not be fully able to convey my feelings correctly. Forgive me, then, if I am not perfectly clear in what I want to say. That being said, I do feel it imperative that we have a little chat.

Why this letter, you say? Well, let me just say I am very worried for you, and I sense that millions of non-American and non-resident in the US of A citizens around the world share this concern. I am talking, you probably have guessed it by now, about the upcoming presidential election you will hold next November.

I frankly cannot remember any previous election in which so much was at stake. You need to make a choice that can very, very severely affect the whole world. You are on the verge of putting the future of our species in the hands of a madman. This, without exaggerating or hyperbolizing, is what is at stake.

I understand you. You are afraid. You are fed up. You have had about enough of this “politics as usual” tendency of an establishment that has long forgotten to seek your opinion, that has lost touch with your concerns, that is all about juggling power with lobbyists, big corporations, bankers and career politicians. Or, at least, that is what you perceive. That is what so many have told you. When Bill O’Reily and Alex Jones and Mike Huckabee start to make more sense to you than supposedly sensible, well-informed pundits, you feel there is something very wrong, and you start to cling onto your beliefs instead of reason, onto hunches in lieu of reflection, onto emotion instead of smarts. We know. We’ve been there. We, in many developing countries, have had the same experience, made the same mistakes, and elected our own egomaniacal self-righteous would-be dictators, only to very quickly regret our choice.

So let me speak to you from this experience. These demagogues promised to defeat the powers that be. At best, they let them carry on, albeit with more power, and just ask for a slice of the pie for themselves. At worst, they have become the power, concentrating in one person all branches of government, effectively becoming dictators. In all cases, the remedy has been worse than the illness. Invariably.

Oh, they did promise a lot, these demagogues. But most of all, they showed strength and charisma beyond anything we had seen before. That just enamored us. We actually got to the point in which the temptation of having someone of that might think and speak and act for us, so that we didn’t have to bother ever again to think, speak and act for ourselves, was just too overwhelming. We didn’t just vote for them. We voted for them massively, in landslides, we started a cult for their personalities, we wore their faces on our T-shirts, and we put them on huge billboards, intensely looking over the horizon, to the future, sided by our historical greats, on the same level as our independence heroes, our popular heroes, our mythical heroes. They became our saviors, our Messiah, our national pride incarnated.

Oh, but we were so wrong. People like these demagogues, even when well-intentioned, don’t manage such power and such praise well. Oh, no. They were full of themselves already before being elected. Their ego inflated to cosmic proportions. They made themselves be crowned as kings and emperors, even when they were elected in Republics. They submitted all decisions to themselves, no matter how vain. They undertook pharaonic endeavors that benefited no one but themselves and their closest friends. They dilapidated their country’s resources, regardless of consequences, just to show off their power. They shunned the rule of law, for their word has become the law, and they have used it to destroy the opposition, no matter how innocent, and defend their own, no matter how corrupt.

Oh, that would never happen in our country, you say? That’s what we said too. It was impossible that this kind of mess would happen in our democracies. Our democracies were either too old to give up on them, or too young to not remember what sacrifices they had cost. We took our democracies for granted. That was our mistake.

Try to imagine how the future looks for you. At best, Hillary will stand by her word and amplify rights, confront Wall Street, build international alliances to face the huge challenges of our postmodern world and lead the Union to a 21st century economy. At worst, she will continue the status quo that, all things considered, is not all that bad: you have a growing economy, unemployment is down, street violence is down, social security is up and exciting new technologies are emerging from the States as it had not happened since the 70’s.

On the other hand, Tump, at best, will close the country with isolationist policies, do nothing about the ever growing gap between haves and have nots, attempt to stop immigration just to realize that a modern and wealthy economy cannot survive without this essential working force, and bully and whine his way across a complex world that he doesn’t begin to understand. At worst, well, he will fit the description of democratically elected demagogue dictators I have described above. Although many this side of the globe would love to see the Pax Americana crumble down and the United States become some gigantic banana republic, I don’t think that is on anyone’s best interest.

You have a choice the rest of the world does not have. I always cringe when you call your president “the leader of the free world”. A leader of the free world would have to be elected by the peoples of all countries that fit that description. We do not have that luxury. You and you alone can prevent this disaster. “What do you have to lose?” asks the demagogue candidate. Let the answer be very clear: You have everything to lose. Don´t take that risk.

I wish you well,

A very concerned non-American