Dear America, don’t be so damn gullible

Americans should realise that their choices come with great responsibility for their country and the world.

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz [AP]
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz [AP]

I see that you’re enjoying the political circus masquerading as a presidential race. But the fact is this is not just another four-yearly carnival during which you listen to a handful of candidates schmoozing you and saying things they don’t mean and making promises they won’t keep.

This time you’re toying with evil, and if you continue to swallow the rubbish fed to you by your leading populist candidate, you’re bound to poison your entire liberal system and sever relations with the rest of the world.

Anyone who blames Mexicans, Blacks and Muslims for the misfortunes of your country is deceiving you. They don’t deserve you, and they sure as hell don’t deserve your support.

Anyone who tells you that only the rich can pull you out of misery after the banks ran your financial system into the ground is lying to you.

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In your heart, you know that’s not right. You are not stupid. Of course you’re not.

These are serious times and they do require serious people with real ideas, not phallic innuendos.


So why are so many of your own swallowing these lies like hot cakes? Why do they nod in approval when someone promises to deliver greatness by erecting a wall, scrapping a nuclear agreement or undoing a health programme?

You are an industrious and hard-working nation and you know all too well that things don’t come that easy in life. You’ve been issued cheques you can’t cash.

Just how many times are you going to be bit in the same place by the same snakes?

You probably reckon it just doesn’t really matter. They’re all the same any way; they come, they speak, they wave, and then they’re gone until the next elections. So why not enjoy the spectacle while it lasts, right?

Wrong. This time it’s different. You’re playing with fire.

These are serious times and they do require serious people with real ideas, not phallic innuendos. The twisted entertainment must stop. Life is not Hollywood. Plain and simple.

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I understand you like to be told you’re great, that you’re God’s gift to the world, and how God loves America. And that’s just fine; he does have a big heart.


But dear America, God said love, not hate, thy neighbour!

In a scare frenzy, you’re incited to fear your own nationals just because they follow a different faith.

You’re pushed to use torture. To discriminate. To kill. To take revenge. And to break your word. And that should “make America great again!” Really!

You’re told that if only you detested your neighbour enough; if only you demonised them as rapists and killers enough, you will receive heaven on earth. That’s just lazy bigotry.

It’s time to stop kidding yourself.

Your patriotism is envied. Even your imperialism is at times appreciated and even desired by those seeking your protection.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump [AP]
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump [AP]

But when in the wrong, you need to take responsibility for your failed and at times bloody policies at home and abroad.

The kind of nationalism being forged and sold during this presidential campaign is not about the love of one’s country – it’s about confronting the whole world.

It doesn’t make you special when the British and the Russians, the Muslims and the Mexicans, the French and the Chinese warn against the kind of fascism on full display in your rallies and fundraisers. It makes you weak and renders you isolated.

It’s time to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop being delusional. It’s high time you shook off this laxity and end this dangerous fatalism. 

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These are tough times that demand serious people who understand that you need the world as much as it needs you.

Putting our values above our interests, our humanity above our nationalism, could help us create coalitions across continents ...


To be sure, dear America, this is not my first open letter to you. I wrote to you more than a dozen years ago, warning of similar impulses.

I want to repeat to you today, what I said then:

Our right to security is a universal right. Preserving it in an era of globalisation is a multilateral venture. That’s why our interdependence is a sign of our maturity, not our weakness. All of us democrats must confront irrational geo-theology and deadly geo-strategy by emphasising geo-ethics.

Putting our values above our interests, our humanity above our nationalism, could help us create coalitions across continents and religions to block the fatalistic and destructive drive to war.

In the absence of democracy, Middle East Arabs have not made the choice of their fundamentalists or their leaders.

You Americans, on the other hand, are a democracy and have a choice. The fundamentalists and the militarists succeed only when we democrats of the world fail to be what we must.

Dearest America, last time you didn’t heed my advice and the result was wars, bloodshed, destruction and more insecurity. But it’s not too late this time around to do the right thing, as you must.

Sincerely, MB

Marwan Bishara is the senior political analyst at Al Jazeera. Follow him on Facebook.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.