Taking in all the mid-term results via the web and Twitter, along with a Sunday evening spent in a Tokyo bar listening to Joshua Tree-era U2, brought the song In God’s Country to mind this week.
Of course, the US has always been prone to mass outbreaks of batshit-craziness, denying evolution, riddled with inequalities and displaying a high tolerance for murder at home, as well as abroad, all the while proclaiming its belief, above that of all other nations, in fairness, justice and all things holy.
Then every now and again they do something that was thought impossible, such as elect Obama as President, and you are brought back to remembrance of all the things you love about America. So it is disquieting for those of us who truly love liberty, tolerance and equality to watch an even more mental version of the right-wing lunatics we thought we had just seen the back of, regain control of the world’s largest democracy. Especially so if you are also a tea drinker, as the bastards stomp around Washington besmirching the name of our favourite brew.
If, as a recent Vanity Fair article records, the machinations at the heart of US bureaucracy now make it impossible to build the kind of cross-party alliances that existed until relatively recently, the polarisation of American politics can only get worse. That the Tea Party Republicans can pass themselves off as a grassroots movement while opposing measures to reform banking and taxation that would avoid a repeat of recent financial catastrophes ensures that there are likely to be sad eyes out in the badlands for years to come.