"Non-Americans of Reddit, what is your genuine reaction to what’s going on in America right now?"

I want to add the citizenship test for ANY office, city council on up. And to make lobbying a felony. Simple solutions.

But we’re decades from undoing the harm of the last few years, without a doubt.

Second amendment should be rewritten to not allow equivalent weaponry of a Gatling Gun in your home. There needs to be a huge government push for nutrition and education.

The ideas on how to improve America and its lack of mental and physical health overwhelm you when you start considering it. We’re probably a few generations off from course-correction. This will be known as our Dumbest Era. Good TV, though.


What an epic Roast

From Spain. I’m absolutely terrified, seeing the US fall into a fully fledge fascist state is both horrible. Not only because of the whole “murdering your own people a la 30s Germany”, but because yahoo politicians and wannabe dictators from all around the globe are taking notes or implementing the same strategies.

I used to work with a journalist that one day told me full of dread that once people started believe that every news media piece was fake then facts would no longer matter and only fear, frustration and anger would reign. She was right.

The States did not succumb to a foreign army, nor to a natural disaster: it succumbed to the own monsters that it’s exceptionalist world-view breed.

PD: Also terrified because the US is a basic piece in stopping global warming, something that threatens directly every country on Earth, and not only is not doing fuck shit, but it’s actively encouraging it.


Though the article is really about the views of people outside the US. While I agree that poor leadership from the US President is causing disasters for people in the US, from the outside we have avoided the worst possible outcomes.Trump just doesn’t have the concentration span needed to turn Iran into a war zone, for example.


I’d quite like my country to stop copying your country.


Québécois here.
In 2006, I gave my father his 70th birthday present: seeing the Detroit Pistons play in their home town. He was excited like a little kid.
At the same time, I was writing a scientific article on the Collapse of complex civilizations, after reading Jane Jacobs Dark Age Ahead and seeing how the economy was not going well in North America.
Being in Detroit, in the downtown area, I was completely flabbergasted, saddened as well as angered and non-plussed at the total devastation I saw. When I came back and participated in local politics in Montreal, I immediately tried to warn people that North American cities were going to waste away if the status quo was maintained. A right wing think tank called Institut Economique de Montréal had monopolized the discourse and called me a Cassandra, and the conservatives who were infiltrating the forums and blogs by the way of disillusioned libertarians stepped up their game of online intimidation.
Fast-forward 14 years in the future and all the discussions I had and the predictions coming true and now I feel powerless… I also understand better how the Finns felt when they saw the SU collapse. I already did, I worked and studied in FInland for 3 years, but this situation gives me even more perspective. I can only hope that No.45 is no Boris Yeltsin and that there will be clashes and riots but not more.
There is not much I can do but educate my fellow citizens as rationally as possible.
My fellow North Americans, enlightened and progressive citizens south of the border, please do not become the Sowhat Union or the Disunited States. As imperfect and inadequate as you may feel, we need you.


It’s a mixed bag for me. I love so much of American culture - you guys invented Battlestar Galactica and Buffy - but the dark half? It’s getting uglier and uglier every year, and seems to be growing. It should be easily countered but there’s just so much cynicism and apathy, huge swathes of the population don’t seem remotely concerned about the decay. It’s sad. But for me it’s also scary. I’ve settled in Taiwan, and we live under constant threat of invasion from China (the one stance where the far right is actually on point). We really depend on the US being able and willing to come to our aid if that day comes, but despite strengthening ties recently I’m starting to doubt if that help will materialise. That could spell the end of a peaceful, welcoming, democratic, LGBT-friendly country of 23 million people.


Cassandra was cursed to utter true prophecies and not to be believed. Calling someone a Cassandra as an insult is some ignorant self-owning.


Did they not understand that calling you a “Cassandra” implied that your prophesies were correct and they’d be foolish to dismiss them?

ETA what @GulliverFoyle said


Trump famously said “the world is laughing at us.”

Well. . . who’s the “shithole country” now, huh?


Historically, citizenship tests were a real thing. Problem was, the person who gave the test gets to decide the questions, and if the person taking them answered them correctly, regardless of what the actual answers were. It was used pretty much exclusively to keep certain undesirable elements of society out of office and from voting (eg, black people would always fail the test, regardless of how they answered the question (even if they were right, they were “wrong”), while white people were given much simpler questions and any answer was good enough.

Term limits I agree would be a good thing. Better yet would be to require a waiting period between terms (no consecutive terms) to cut down on the grafting for campaign donations.


As an American, I have to agree. I was born and raised in the American south, and I say the Confederacy should have been treated like the enemy nation it made itself. The South should have been burned down to the bedrock, its leaders hung as traitors, it’s social structure utterly destroyed, anyone who held any position of responsibility banned from ever again holding any kind of public office, and every big fancy plantation house burned and that ground salted. What was done with the South after the war was a halfway solution - a 50% answer. It is has been proven too many times that 50% answers produce 0% results. All they do is prolong the problem and move the final reckoning a little later on the calendar.

In 1865, the Republican party didn’t force a full-power reckoning with the South because they didn’t really care about slavery or what it did to people. They cared about preserving the Union and in preventing the rise of an antagonistic separate power on this continent. Slavery was a reason to go to war but the majority of Americans even in the north didn’t care about slaves or how badly they were treated. The Federal government back then didn’t care about justice or rights of black people. The USA has had 150 years of being poisoned by institutionalized racism because the Republican party in the 1860s was just like it is today - its members don’t give a rat about right and justice, all they really want is to cling to power.


I can’t even read all of those; it’s too sad. For a long time, no matter where I went in the world, I’d come back to the good ol’ USA and say to myself, “[fill in the blank] was nice, but I’m so glad to be back in America, even with its flaws.” Now I’m not so sure. I kinda wanted to find a way to stay in the UK last summer, Brexit or no…

On the other hand, when traveling, when someone asks where I’m from, I always answer “California” or more specifically “San Francisco” instead of “the USA”.


I agree with one thing you said. Term limits are pointless - it takes someone a long time to learn the ropes and establish the connections that are necessary to become actually effective. It’s not a good idea to throw someone out just when he finally reaches a point where he can actually accomplish something. But outlawing consecutive terms in office would be useful. Part of the problem in our legislators is that they spend decades in Washington doing nothing but playing political games, never listening to anyone but big contributors and corporate lobbyist bribe offers. They fall out of touch with the people who elected them and start thinking of themselves as Senators from Exxon and Representatives from General Dynamics. They should be forced to go back into normal life now and then and forced to relearn what real people think and care about.


I don’t see any reason to think a higher turnover rate in government would necessarily help. Bernie Sanders has been in congress for almost 30 years while Donald Trump is the first US President with no history of public service whatsoever.

As @dreamofthedarkstar notes similar tests have been historically uses to disenfranchise people from our political system. Like the “literacy tests” once used to disqualify minority voters, it would shift power from the voting public to the people in charge of writing and implementing the tests.


Fair point and I’m obviously not saying that. I mean to institute some intelligence metric, considering the same test an immigrant needs to pass to live here be a good starting point. I’m deeply sympathetic to the poor, under-represented, minority, refugee, etc.

I’m just trying to make it impossible for Mitch McConnell or Louie Gomert to even get in the door.

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How about no citizenship test, just an Asshole Meter, which would be developed by IBM to scientifically determine being a shithead with leaking oil for a brain and a dead twig for a heart. If Watson or some equivalent supercomputer identifies you as a pig headed divisive fool, you are not allowed to run for office. You’re also stripped of your vocal chords and maybe de-limbed.

Also, income and bank account numbers for any public representative should be public information, on a click. You’re a public servant, not a businessperson.

Just spitballing, as an abused American aware of the problem.

we’re number one. Rah.

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I’m tempted to say that as part of the political debates, candidates should submit to a test of their civic knowledge (take the test in public, and they all get the same questions and we all get to see their answers). Not as a disqualifying measure, just as to let the voters know how much they know. But in the end, most voters won’t care, or neigh, even downright prefer the candidate who answers blatantly wrong. The candidates would spout off answers that represent how they think voters wish things could be, rather than display any actual knowledge about the way things actually are.

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That’s basically what the Presidential debates are now.