Thursday, November 17, 2016

What does someone in Trumpland think of Switzerland?

What does an American, specifically you, think of Switzerland?

That was the assignment The Frau received from an editor at Die Zeit a few weeks ago.

Her answer, in essay format, was published today in the Swiss edition of the German-language weekly. This week's issue explores how various nationalities see Switzerland. A smart idea and The Frau looks forward to reading what others authors think too.

However. What would be even more interesting, at this point in time, is an American magazine that did an issue about what the rest of the world thinks of the United States. That we're gullible? That we're ignorant? That we're a bad reality show with too much reality to even digest anymore? That we're going to ruin their lives too?

What does The Frau think about America? Well, let's just say it's not good. But she is no longer speechless. Instead of just sitting there, sick to her stomach in her pajamas until 4 p.m. on a Wednesday, she is speaking up, both in written and verbal formats. Yodelers, she is determined to save her country and use her Swiss wisdom and international viewpoints to do so.

Her strategies include:

1.     Writing essays and articles that push progressive ideas (you know, those oh-so “radical” Swiss ideas, like universal healthcare, paid parental leave, etc.) ideally for publication in high circulation places.
2.     Continuing to write the sequel to Swiss Life, which is titled, American Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known. The book suddenly became an even more interesting project on November 9.
3.     Participating on her local citizen’s council, which slates candidates who seek office in her suburban town.
4.     Giving back creatively to any potential progressive candidate who may need some advertising or copywriting assistance.
5.     Continuing to consider moving back to Switzerland, especially if the SVP goes away.

What do you think of Switzerland? Of the United States? Can the United States be saved? How?

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Speechless in Trumpland

First disbelief. Then trembling. Then sweating. The second-guessing. Then a Swiss reporter called, resulting in this

That is all the mostly speechless Frau has to say for now.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Leave the U.S. again or not? Tomorrow is decision day.

Tomorrow may be the biggest day in the United States in a long time.

The Frau is glad to be able experience such a day on U.S. soil, but she is also completely scared of the possible result, as it may mean she will need to leave U.S. soil once again. Having given up her Swiss C-permit over a month ago, this is not the best timing for such a possibility.

She’s trying to have faith. This is a harder thing to have these days in America than it should be.

Any American who moves back to the U.S. after being abroad experiences reverse culture shock. But the Frau’s timing, having moved back here at the end of 2014, was to experience it in the extreme. This isn’t the country she left it in 2006, and she finds the attitudes of some of people extremely alarming.

Will The Frau leave the U.S. again?
The American electorate may help her decide.
No one discusses issues calmly and deeply, people just yell at each other. It’s horrible. The Frau even took her Bernie Sanders bumper sticker off her car after the primaries—she didn’t want to risk someone shooting her—can you believe she would have to consider such a thing?

Which begs the question: What kind of country has this become? The Frau had a friend who voted early precisely because she was scared of what would happen on election day—would there be riots and shootings at the polls? Can you imagine? This country is morally disintegrating—anyone who thinks Trump should represent our country on the world stage is somehow morally confused or uneducated.

Part of the problem is that so few Americans have passports. About 36% of Americans have passports, so there are a lot of people who have no idea about the world beyond U.S. borders—some haven’t left their state—or their hometown. They are scared of anyone who is different than them and don’t realize that many of policies they call progressive (or heaven forbid, socialist), like legalized vacation time, paid family and medical leave, and universal healthcare are not radical ideas. And the very Americans many of these policies would benefit are the ones who are against them—it makes no intellectual sense.

But nothing makes sense in the U.S. these days.

If there is one redeeming factor to the Trump phenomenon, it is that he alone has revealed, in the clearest way possible, the very wealth inequality that exists in our nation. That loopholes allow a billionaire to escape paying taxes, while a poor man must pay his, show just how unethical and immoral this country has become.

The entire American system is broken. And Trump has brought this out into the open, which in a way, is a good thing. Whether it will bring about change, well, that’s another story. But at least the inequality that people like Bernie Sanders have talked about relentlessly is no longer just talk. American wealth inequality is blatantly and grossly in the spotlight. Whether people will vote for more great policies for billionaires at their own demise will be answered tomorrow. As will the question of The Frau's future moving plans.


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