A Challenge For This Vacation

Aug 7, 2017

For vacation I am going to Europe. Despite my excitement, I have a tinge of loathing.

It’s not about struggling with speaking German. I am more concerned with the possible onslaught of questions about U.S. politics.

The last time I visited Europe was during the debt-ceiling crisis of 2011. After being asked about the impasse several times, my answers began feeling hollow. Being abroad forces you to be a little more objective as you hear yourself outside the comfort of our borders and see how other nations actually live.

Now I am faced with the potential of having to defend our government once again, and this time it will be more daunting.

The current administration has revealed itself to be either wholly inept, with ham-fisted policy introductions; contradictory press statements; demonizing news media; questionable firings; disrespect of the intelligence community; a president in perpetual campaign mode; attempts to curtail civil rights; and the attempt to repeal healthcare, taking the nation further away from universal coverage. Oh, and Russia. Or, the current administration is playing a dangerous game of “wag the dog,” recklessly using subterfuge to hide policies inconsistent with campaign promises.

Some may not care about what our global community thinks of us, but that is a dangerous, isolating stance. What we do and how we do it bears weight on all of us, and this administration is creating trust issues.

Our greatest power has always been our trustworthiness. Without that, then what and who are we? This is not a question of liberal or conservative, but of our identity.

I am Joseph Flynn, and that is my perspective. Safe travels.