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15 April, 2024
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A tale of two nations, Greece's stability amidst America's unraveling

Navigating the political landscape - observations on predictability, division, and the threat of a 'civil war' in America

Alexis Papachelas

Alexis Papachelas

It’s a strange thing: Greece has become a relatively predictable, politically stable country. I wouldn’t say boring, because we still have a long way to go. At the same time, the United States is no longer the predictable, stable country we used to know.

I confess that I came back after a visit to Washington, DC feeling very anxious, and it is not just about whether Donald Trump will be re-elected president, but because you now see signs of a more permanent and deeper decline. I did not meet a single person who was satisfied with the options before them in the run-up to the November US election. Joe Biden may have proven to be a good president, but the way he appears at public events is frightening, and he is not convincing voters that he will be able to make it through another four years. Trump, on the other hand, is a source of terror for serious Americans and it seems he has managed to take over the entire Republican Party. It is incredible what has happened. No one dares to open their mouth, because they are afraid of Trump’s attacks.

In this environment, you can also observe something else: the great damage done by excessive political correctness, which has destroyed all reason.

But I also found an America that is deeply divided. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it plunge into a mild civil war if November’s electoral results are too close. Not only is there no political consensus, it is actually unthinkable. The House elected an inane speaker because no one could control the extreme, and literally deranged wing of the Republicans. The traditional consensus on major foreign policy issues has broken down. Voting on crucial issues takes place again and again into the wee hours of the morning (reminiscent of our own summer of total uncertainty) because no one can predict the outcome. Foreign leaders who are close US allies, such as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, are forced to live in anxiety.

Things that used to happen in Greece and seemed alien to the Americans visiting us are now being observed very often in the US. Attacks on the homes of politicians, ministers and chief justices have become routine. Presidents of major universities walk around campuses with bodyguards, rather than their dogs, for fear of an attack by fanatics who disagree with them. It’s almost impossible to discuss a hot-button issue like the war in Gaza without starting a violent fight, which can escalate into anything.

In this environment, you can also observe something else: the great damage done by excessive political correctness, which has destroyed all reason. You meet moderate people who had voted for both parties, who are outraged by the excesses and semi-fascist mentality of the woke culture. If you add to this mix the rising prices and stagnation felt by the middle class, you absolutely understand why Trump is ahead in the polls. But also why Americans, outside of the East Coast and California, hate their traditional elite.

The US has gone through great crises before and managed to overcome them. “Trust the institutions,” the optimists say. In the coming months, we will see whether they were right or not. The rest of the West and those who want it weak and powerless are anxiously waiting.

Cyprus  |  USA  |  elections  |  Greece

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