Two Nations Under God: Thoughts on the 2020 U.S. Election

A. J. Black reflects on the recent victory of Joe Biden, America in politics and culture, and where we go from here…

One thing that became clear in the run up to the 2020 Presidential election in the United States was that this particular battle was not just about America. It was about the entire world.

You will often hear from the more extremist or conservative Americans, upon any point of criticism regarding their politics, that if you’re not from America, you have no business commenting on the politics of the country. I’m not sure that’s ever been true. If Americans don’t comment on British or French or German elections, it’s more likely they simply aren’t paying any attention to European matters. It doesn’t work that way for us, in the U.K. at least, and in the matter of Joe Biden vs Donald Trump, it hasn’t been the case for the majority of a planet who otherwise, in any other electoral race, might only have paid a modicum of attention.

This one? We’ve all been watching.

The reason is obvious. Donald Trump has presided over perhaps the most tumultuous period of American history, and the most fractured and polarising government, in decades, if not since the 19th century. Was it this bad at the end of a protest-filled 1960s, having suffered presidential assassinations, dubious wars, and the murder of civil rights totems? Those alive at the time are the best people to attest to that. In my lifetime, the last almost forty years, America has never been so inflamed, outraged, horrified and terrified, not even in the wake of 9/11. That was my generation’s Kennedy assassination – the seismic psychological and political shock to global society, but we’ve never seen anything like Trump in the White House.

Now he’s going. For all his protestations, he will be gone. And I’m doing a great deal of thinking, about the recent past and the coming future…

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Tony Talks #15: The State of the Nation(s)

Everything is broken. You know it. I know it. People are talking more about it these days, but still… everything is not just broken, it’s *exhausting*.

I was originally going to just put together a tweet thread about this but I feel compelled right now to write more about the desperate current state, not just of our politics in the West, but our societies in general. In some sense, David Cameron’s vision of a ‘Big Society’ in the UK has come to pass for Western democracy, just not in the way he imagined. We are one big, collapsing macrocosm of democracy which is being crushed under rapidly evolving systems and processes. Our society cannot cope with these quiet revolutions and, consequently, the centre—literally—is not holding.

At this stage, I’d like to, and this may sound weird, invite you to stop reading. I’m aware followers of my blog no doubt come here for discourse on cinema, TV, podcasts etc… and I’m equally aware, for some, never the twain shall meet when it comes to entertainment and politics. While I’m determined not to let this piece descend into a “Trump and Boris are c*nts” (they are) rant, I fully understand if this is the point you get off the ride. In fact, I encourage it if entertainment bloggers and critics discussing personal political views annoys you, especially if you hold a different view.

Still here? Great. Because I have thoughts.

Continue reading “Tony Talks #15: The State of the Nation(s)”