Writing

A twisted flag – thoughts on the eve of Election 2016

Bull in a Gina Shop

This has been the first election I’ve been party to in country since college. Our governance system seems to function on obstructionism. What a long, streaky mess of lies, backtracking and bravado. I can’t wait for it to be over; at the same time wonder if it will be over.

The country is fractured. Trump isn’t going to walk away. He doesn’t seem like that kind of gina-shop bull. He’ll stomp around and grunt for a while, grinding shards of broken communities into the foundation of this nation, getting his nose ring caught on shelves holding nasty tweets.

Of course, presuming he loses. Lord knows what’ll happen if he wins. As a friend said earlier today, “I feel like I should be buying hard alcohol and shotgun shells on the way home.” I’m told expedited citizenship to New Brunswick is on offer…but that would be giving up. Nobody likes a quitter. If he loses, someone has to stick around to witness the Trump Revolution—Making ‘Murica Great Again.

Shaking the world

I watched the “Reds” on the flight back from Russia, a film of John Reed’s seminal book, “Ten days that shook the world“.  That’s what I imagine it like here if Trump wins. A lot of shouting, firing squads f0r “established power”, enthusiasm but too many plans pulling “greatness” in the “wrong” direction. Gather all the poorly educated of the country, give them a wildly obtuse goal tinged with hope, glory and economic stability. The only thing that would stop them is the slow realization that they are all finding themselves in ever smaller factions of disagreeable cusses. “Spinning in ever smaller concentric circles until you crawl up your own ass,” touches on the idea. Expression courtesy of Craig Reynolds.

It seems the only character we should be judging politicians on these days is whether they can “work across the aisle.” My way or the highway gets us nowhere. I’m pretty chuffed to have recently received a letter (see below) from a man who knows this better than most. The US Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, has a tough job, especially now, but he took time out to hang with our humble sister city delegation and thanked us for our efforts in building understanding across a historically vast international aisle.

US-Russia relations are strained, to put it lightly, and probably will be for a while. The domestic chasm between Democrat and Republican parties has some similarities. And for the same reason the Burlington Yaroslavl Sister City Program exists, to highlight and build people-to-people relations, so should our government work together, realizing our grassroots connections and common humanity rather than our illusive, divided political lines.

*Casually steps off soap box and “accidentally” drops a crisp, unfolded, unclassified piece of paper…

Alex Bunten-thank you from ambassador.jpg

*** Looking to donate to the 2016 Movember campaign, raising funds and awareness for men’s health? Go here http://mobro.co/albunten and give all you can — help stop men dying too young. 

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