Relief!

While The Netherlands is heading into stricter lockdown, with an evening curfew proposed to start this weekend, I can’t help but still feel joy and it’s all due to a new president of the USA! I feel a huge amount of relief that the White House will have some decency again. For me, it began yesterday evening with the touching memorial for the 400.000 who passed away due to Covid-19…

I watch the inauguration ceremony and I feel I can breathe again after the four years of terror a Trump presidency gave us.

On a side note, the Biden-Obama bromance still lives…

… and I love this Kamala Harris and Barack Obama first bump picture.

Kamala Harris was sworn in…

… as was Joe Biden…

… and for the first time in a long time I can look to the future again with some hope. I thought I’d be blubbering tears but really, my heart is just skipping with joy. Biden called for unity and truth in his inauguration speech just now and it’s just such a relief to hear a little sense coming out of a US president’s mouth again, delivered with heart and warmth. A Joe Biden presidency doesn’t only mean a lot to America but also to the world and he seems to realize that as well, going by his speech. I hope Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will do well and above all, do good, as they intend to.

Second Wednesday in a row…

… that I’ve been stuck to the screen watching US politics unfold in their congress. Last week the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election win in congress was interrupted by the awful riot by Trump supporters on the Capitol. Today Donald Trump was impeached for the second time during his presidency for inciting that riot. Just like with all those Brexit debates and votes in the British parliament in 2019, I was glued to the screen this evening with the impeachment debate and subsequent vote in the US House of Representatives. (Good thing about watching these UK and US debates is that I learn a lot about how democracy is conducted there).

The US House of Representatives vote was 232 for and 197 members against impeachment and I wonder why 4 Republicans didn’t vote on such a monumental resolution. I took a screenshot of the moment the 10th Republican voted for impeachment…

I have to say, the arguments Republicans brought about ‘needing to unite and bring the country together’ felt very hypocritical to me after they only deepened the huge divide through repeated lies and spreading hatred during at least the past four years. Also, they didn’t seem to be able to keep their arguments to the point, citing the current president’s accomplishments and referring to Black Lives Matter protests that were violent. Yes, that violence was terrible too but those arguments didn’t seem pertinent to me to the issue at hand, namely that lies told for months on end and Trump’s speech on January 6th only emboldened his base to do what they ended up doing in that riot. The Republicans speak of healing, but healing can only begin if politicians start telling the truth and especially Republicans need to state at the very least the truth that there was no widespread election fraud. You can disagree on policies, you can’t disagree on the truth. Apparently 197 representatives don’t see it that way and continue to support a lying president. Thank goodness he’ll be gone next week when I’ll be stuck to the screen again, watching the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Images I have seen today of the National Guard having to rest in the Capitol to protect it from their own countrymen and women are extremely depressing, they don’t belong in a country which has always said it holds democratic values high.

A three week extension of our Covid lockdown here in The Netherlands until February 9th and the consideration of possibly even a curfew (as announced yesterday) is disheartening but almost feels like peanuts in comparison. US democracy is under siege and it’s heartbreaking to witness from the outside. I really hope the inauguration next week will remain peaceful!

Vote him out!

I probably shouldn’t post this – this is not a political blog after all and I am not an American (nor would I ever wish to be) – but oh my goodness, I can’t keep quiet! What is happening in the US affects the world and it affects me and I just need to let it out. So, look away now if you are sick of (left wing) politics and here goes…

From my perspective the US is completely falling apart under the current ‘leadership’ and my heart breaks. It’s one drama after the other coming from the US. This past week alone it’s been voter suppression, lying speeches at the Republican National Convention (RNC) that the Trump base will just lap up as truth and now the shooting of Jacob Blake and the inadequate response to that (#BlackLivesMatter people!)… I just can’t handle it anymore.

Here at home, we already call that man in the White House a wannabe dictator and if that man isn’t checked or, best yet, thrown out (how hasn’t that happened yet?!?), he will turn into one and that will be the end of US democracy. It is so painful to watch what has become of a country that the world, and my kids, used to look up to; the admiration has gone, my kids are disillusioned and stunned at the lies and the nationalist arrogance on display. We now feel disbelief and horror when we look at the US and the way in which this president and his cronies can not show any adequate leadership and, worst of all, are unable to show human decency. Well, First Lady Melania tried in her RNC speech, but her words sounded completely hollow, knowing to what a diseased administration she belongs.

I came across this the other evening: Charlie Chaplin in 1940 from the movie The Great Dictator and his attack on Hitler and Nazism. For a while there, after the Second World War, it seemed like we as a Western society were working towards the ideals he mentioned but we seem to be sliding away again…

It’s time that man in the White House is voted out with a very clear majority in November… I fear it won’t happen (I just can’t understand that Trump still has an over 40% approval rating!) but I so very fervently hope it will. The world, and my family, will be grateful.

My thoughts with the US tonight

What Mr. Guterres, General Secretary of the UN, said…

I hope I don’t wake up tomorrow (or rather, later today) to a Tiananmen 2.0 in the US.

Source: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/the-lasting-tragedy-of-tiananmen-square/

I had many more words written in another post but decided to not publish that. I get incoherent when I’m angry and that doesn’t help. Just three short points I want to make:
– Black lives matter!
– Listen, talk and change; violence (looting or militarized response) is not the answer.
– Please vote when the time comes.

I was thinking of not posting anything ‘trivial’ anymore for a few days but this trivial stuff keeps me sane. So, I’m letting my next scheduled post (the final fictional crush challenge) go live in a couple of hours anyhow in order to retain a sense of normalcy in this crazy world. I know I am privileged enough to be able to do so.

To my friends in the US: my hopes for a peaceful discourse are with you. Please stay safe and stay well!

Ch… ch… ch… ch… Changes!

The other day David Bowie’s widow Iman tweeted this image below…

David Bowie these children that you spit on

It’s a quote from Changes, which is one of my favourite Bowie songs. It was written in 1971 for a different generation, the baby boomers, who were part of a whole lot of change. That particular quote has also been used for the youth of another generation, the Gen X’ers like me, in the excellent 1985 movie The Breakfast Club (see the end of the title sequence, at about 1.45 mins into this clip)…

and now it is getting linked to another new generation, the late millenials, the young students protesting for change to gun laws in the US right now. To me it’s a perfect theme song for demanding such change! David Bowie’s words live on…

Here’s the whole song; always worth a full listen in my book!

I love what these young people are doing and sincerely hope their voices will indeed finally lead to change! I may be a liberal, stupid European who doesn’t truly understand Americans and American culture, but I’ve gotta say, I’m totally with Stephen Colbert on this one…

… and with Trevor Noah…

From where I’m standing, ch… ch… ch… ch… changes would be an excellent thing!