A European’s Breakup Letter With America
We met about 8 years ago. In the beginning, I was fascinated by your strength, optimism, and willingness to defend your values that I strongly identified with. Your pride and confidence were mesmerizing, and it taught me I could adopt them too if I wanted.
Like in all relationships, there were some minor issues that I disagreed with. But overall, the history you had with my own country (Belgium) made me feel like I was indebted to you.
I was in love!
One day though, you started changing.
That confidence you had and that I was admiring, started phasing. Your optimism did too. Every day that passed made you more unsure of yourself. You started thinking about the past a lot.
Instead of focusing on the acts of bravery and courage you had shown the world in your early days, you increasingly focused on the mistakes that you (and many others, don’t forget that) made.
From my perspective, it seemed you sank deeper into a nervous breakdown every day that passed. I sought to understand why.
I noticed some voices were calling you out. They hated you and wanted you to hate yourself too. These voices came as much from the inside, as they did from the outside. The originators made them echo by using various psychological tricks and fantasy theories that did not – that could not – take hold of anyone that thought with their brain.
However, you had stopped thinking with your brain long ago. You thought with your heart.
Entangled in this torrent of emotions, you let these voices break you down.
What you stood for 10 years ago, you forgot. What you fought against 10 years ago, you stood for.
Listening to the voices, you operated a mind-shift about who you were, what you had done, and what you deserved.
You used to be in love with yourself (which was somewhat irritating). You now only have disgust and hate.
Many warned you not to take that path. Many warned you about the danger of the voices, but you did not listen. Every day you changed, every day you abandoned who you were, every day you transformed into the monster you used to fight.
That reminds me of that line: “you whether die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
I guess you became the villain.
America, I loved you. But in light of the recent events, you lost the special place you held in my heart.
I know this won’t change anything, but if you wonder why I decided to leave you, I have written 5 reasons below.
1. You Stopped Leading From the Front and Started Leading From Behind
At the end of WWII, you successfully built a solid and resilient international system, protected the free world until the demise of the unfree world, and supported groups that fought for liberty all over the world.
Soon enough though, you became tired of doing so, and started “leading from behind”.
America, if you don’t show the way, who will?
2. You lost independence and relied on malign actors
America, do you remember when the force of your government took the first man to the moon?
While you cherished capitalism, you knew some exploits had to be inspired and led by your leaders. You knew capitalism had to be controlled to ensure its continuous service of the people, and not of corporations.
But lately, you have lost your independence. The conglomerate you were supposed to check on, started helping you carry on. You relied on them as your government grew tired of its responsibilities.
America, why have you become the butler of corporations, when you were supposed to be their master?
3. You Didn’t Take Care of Your Problems at Home
For a long time, it seemed your care for foreign problems was procrastination regarding your own issues. Today, I can confirm this intuition was true.
While you fought abroad to end poverty and improve education, you let your own people grow poorer and less educated. Every generation that passed saw the children being worse-off than their parents. Your future, which was a promise for better days, came to be attached with darkness and struggle.
America, let’s be honest. Your current issues are only a series of symptoms of earlier problems you refused to take care of, thinking it wasn’t your task to do so.
Today, these problems have grown to such a size, that it is taking the whole of you altogether.
4. You Embraced Violent, Divisive, and False Racial Narratives
America, Europe is old. You may think of us as your children, but it is you, really, that is our. We had lessons for you, lessons you taught us without even knowing so. But you did not listen.
America, Europe has a long history with racial politics. Every wrongdoing you accuse yourself of today has been committed in Europe first. We understood our mistakes and made sure they wouldn’t happen ever again.
Part of this was to never, ever categorize people according to how they look. We know there is no difference between races and that it is an explosive topic many malevolent people will use to inspire hatred and divide people. We know it seldom ends up well.
America, why have you gone down the road of racial ideologies? Don’t you remember what happened when we did?
5. You Gave up on the Rule of Law, Equality, and Freedom of Speech
America, you have failed your own constitution.
You promised your people freedom of speech and equality in front of the law. Yet, you failed to enforce your own rule.
America, your people aren’t free to express what they think. They feel watched by a mob that is always standing behind them and ready to destroy their lives if they dare express a “wrong” opinion.
America, the mob has now taken control of your institutions. This is grave. They weren’t supposed to give the mob more power. They were supposed to prevent it from acting.
I Don’t Love You Anymore
America, your behavior, and the ideas that come out of you make me suffer. They are not healthy, they hurt and annoy me to the point that I have decided to break up with you.
I will never forget the happy years we spent together. I will never forget all that you taught me.
But for now, I think we should stop seeing each other.
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