Us And Them

I have British friends and I have American friends. Most of my friends are liberal left in outlook. There are many similarities between my British liberal left friends and my American liberal left friends. For example they are in similar professions and have similar interests. However, the Brexit and US presidential votes have shown clearly that there is one huge difference between the Brits and the Americans and it is a difference that, as a Brit, I find hugely embarrassing.

The day after Donald Trump won the presidential race my American friends were in despair and the overall thing that concerned them was how Trump being in the White House would impact negatively on the minorities, the sick and disabled, the poor and the immigrants in their country.

The day after the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union my British friends were in despair and the overall thing that concerned them was how Brexit would impact negatively on their wealth and on their earnings. Yes, there were a few who were upset at the idea that the door would be closed on unrestricted immigration and a few worried about the possible loss of human rights but, on the whole, it was all about the money.

The irony is that, according to popular opinion outside of the USA and maybe even within the USA, it should have been the other way round. Americans are supposed to be the selfish, survival of the fittest capitalists whilst the Brits are supposed to care for each other and believe that there are far more important things in life than money. The truth is that Americans are a passionate race whatever their politics. They are idealists who find it very difficult to be cynical for any length of time. The Brits, on the other hand, are cynics par excellence to the point of just not giving a damn about anyone else but themselves. Any pangs of conscience can always be appeased by sending a few quid to Children in Need once a year.


Us And Them — 2 Comments

  1. “[Yanks] are idealists who find it very difficult to be cynical for any length of time.”

    Geez, I thought this was sort of conventional wisdom? Painfully *earnest* Americans, always thinking This or That is the End-of-the-World? A *young* nation, that hasn’t grasped seen-it-all-before cyclical detachment (aka cynicism and/or fatalism and/or perpetual snark: well, the latter perhaps mainly a function of snarking at American earnestness, their affected “exceptionalism” which is, ironically, exceptional!)

    I’ll confess now: I avoided this site like the plague in the first weeks after The Calamity (just to download the Sunday mass and nothing more). I didn’t want to hear your (expected) I-Told-You-So’s [Hillary Clinton’s 2.5 million and rising popular vote notwithstanding].

    And yet here you are, MP, talking down your own peeps, while not smacking your liberal Yank friends who, after all, had the benefit of seeing from Brexit *Just How Wrong* so-called “scientific polls” could be.

    So pat yourself on the back, I’m saying. You’re a mensch. And I’m back now. Still not comprehending how the U.S. of A. is going to survive the next 4 years—not even certain it should!—and yet believing, hope against hope, that coming together (even w/ those cynical Brits) is the Only Way Through. {sotto voce “In Jesus’ Name I pray”}

    • I am an equal opportunity offender. And I never play the “I told you so” card. That would be far too obvious for me. You’ve known me long enough to know that. You didn’t visit my website for the simple reason that it would have reminded you I was right, not because you believed that I would be crowing about being right.