Can you still recommend an exchange year in the US under Donald Trump?

For someone who is “consolidated” in his values and in his socialization, a stay in the United States is still an experience that broadens his own horizons.

For students up to 14 years of age, however, as a father, I would consider more closely whether I wanted my child to live in the USA under Trump for a longer period of time.This would be very much about how solid my child is already in the values and norms that are important to me, and in which area or region. into what host family the offspring would go to.

We lived as a family in Massachusetts, arguably the most liberal state in the Union, and the only one of 50 states where Trump hasn’t won a single constituency.But even there, 1 in 3 Americans voted for him and still stand by their choice. In Massachusetts, “the world is still reasonably fine.” The current conservative governor, Charles Baker, and the Republicans are still behaving fairly normally, putting their nation and state above their political party, and willing to engage in civil dialogue and compromise with the political opposite. That is not the case on a national level! But even in this healing MA world, the potential for conflict is increasing. At every barbecue party, at every family party, you meet Trump supporters and their, mostly obscure but now and then audible, hatred of the “fu….. Liberals” and the desire for “law and order” or that now finally one “with balls” is at the helm, etc.

There are therefore also many areas and families in the United States where values are lived or even glorified that I did not want my child to be exposed to for longer, at the risk of accepting them themselves.These include:

A very lax to supportive role in everything Trump does: lying, behaving contemptuously toward women and minorities, declaring the free press the enemy of the nation, flouting the law, endangering democracy, with immigrants, for some. Bypassing inhumanely, enriching himself at the expense of the nation, etc., in short: to give birth as the evil narcissist he is.

The attitude that poor, underprivileged people are solely responsible for their fate and should therefore not receive state aid and support.

A macro trend of “everyone for him/self” that has been increasing in the US for years, which is pushing back the meaning of “community”.This is reflected in the unwillingness of many to accept increased taxes so that investments can be made in the “common good” (public transport, environmental protection, social programmes, …).

– latently widespread systemic racism, especially towards the African-American population.

鈥?the tolerance of many of the unfortunately numerous “lazy eggs” in the US Law Enforcement, which is expressed in extremely authoritarian to overtly racist behaviour by police officers towards minorities, and unfortunately all too often, even in the event of death, unpunished.

鈥?attitudes towards private gun ownership and, as is customary in many southern states, a legally established “Stand your ground” attitude, according to which one may shoot an intruder into one’s own home with a perceived threat to one’s own life, up to and down to kill.

A school system in which children who are not so mentally entrenched can suffer greatly from the fact that only “popular kids” are great children.In other words, a form of competition and pressure for conformity that, in my view, can quickly degenerate destructively and greatly damage the self-confidence of an adolescent.

Etc.(The list goes further.)

I think the US has been on a path of ruthless elbow capitalism for a while, and not just since Trump, on a path of ruthless elbow capitalism that is far from sustainable, and which, with its accompanying exploitation of resources (and people), is increasingly a threat to the world as an ecosystem.But I am not referring to the Americans as such. There are, of course, masses of insightful Americans who see this development as threatening and would like to change it. But, unfortunately, political and economic power, backed by the special insinuation of the big corporations, is firmly in the hands of those who believe in the “American exceptionalism” (= America is the best nation in the world and should determine the fate of the world) and no problem in their behaviour. Trump’s “America first” is only the most extreme, selfish expression of this attitude to date.

Leave a Reply