Wednesday, November 7, 2018

E pluribus unum?

This morning I read an article by Florian Harms on German T-online news headed, “Aus vielen eines”. This is the proud motto of the United States in Latin adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782. Sixty-seven years ago in school, I learned, “The USA is a  melting pot of people”. In the 1950s America was the measure of all things in Germany.

The author continued his article on the outcome of the midterm elections in Latin, “Tempi passati”, times have changed. The States are deeply divided not only between Republicans and Democrats but between "the poor against the rich, the whites against blacks, the whites against Latinos, the ultra-religious against atheists, city residents against rural dwellers, Trump admirers against Trump despisers." And the dividing ditch is deepening by the abuse of the media, fake news, and hate speech. It is to be feared that the results of the election with a divided Congress will accelerate the transformation of E pluribus unum into E pluribus collidum.

Two years of Trump rule saw the cancellation of balanced international agreements where POTUS steamrolled over diplomatic conventions. We had the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, the attacks against the European Union and NATO, the torpedoing of the laboriously negotiated nuclear agreement with Iran, and we are waiting for an extension of the starting trade war with more “great tariffs”.

In my opinion, the Democrats' win of the House is a Pyrrhic victory. Back to the wall, POTUS will now fight, and with him, his loyal supporters, increasing internal and external political tensions. A president can veto any legislation passed by Congress, and it requires a 75% vote to overturn his veto. Stormy times* lie ahead.
*No allusion to Daniels

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