As a child I was exposed to all things American (we called it Amreekan) on my father’s return from the US after completing his MS in engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1960 rejoining as a lecturer at Jamia Millia Islamia university in New Delhi.
He brought me a Mechano set to construct miniature structures, a Viewsmaster to get a 3D glimpse of life in the US and imported a large Westinghouse fridge/freezer for my mum to make our favourite mango flavoured ice creams to share with family, friends and neighbours.
At the time, we were in awe of the good life in Amreeka, the high standard of living, healthy lifestyle, opportunities in higher education, big cars for almost everybody and the leadership that US provided in almost every field of modern life. We always wished if we could go and live in the US.
As it happened, with a twist of fate, we ended up in Australia in 1971 instead, and loving it ever after, never regretting for not settling in US, like many of our extended family, friends and colleagues.
America has come a long way since then, the hippy movement as a reaction to materialism, US hegemony in world affairs, the Vietnam wars, the Gulf wars, 9/11 and war on terror that still continues, milestones that have brought down the image of US from the moral high ground.
There is no doubt that the US still inspires us with the best universities with excellence in higher education and leading research, its mega industrial infrastructure, opportunities to excel to the top irrespective of your ethnicity, race, religion, colour and nationality as well as the check and balances in its public institutions including politics, judiciary, media and fundamental rights.
However the image of America as ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’ has been eroding during the last few decades and has really come down since, surprisingly, Donald Trump became President of this great nation.
Trump, as a symbol of US has simply brought disrepute to the position of the most powerful office in this world with his lies, erratic tweets, racist attitude, corrupt behaviour and blatant disregard for decency within the US and internationally.
The US should have been a beacon to lead in countering the COVID-19 pandemic in order to save humanity from suffering, misery, illness and economic decline on a global scale but alas under Trump’s failed leadership, US can not lead the world out of this disaster and is itself suffering most from this pandemic due to mismanagement.
It’s time the US voters kicked this person out of this most important position during the presidential elections due in November 2020, with some one who could restore dignity to this office and provide leadership for sanity to prevail in global affairs and for the sake of peace and prosperity in America.